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November 30, 2005

And So It Begins

How do we deal with this tactical twist? And what does it mean?

MIREILLE, who was born in Belgium to a white, middle-class Christian family, blew herself to pieces last month in a suicide attack against American troops near Baghdad.

In one of the most extraordinary tales of Islamic radicalisation, she is thought to be the first white Western woman to carry out a suicide bombing.

Belgian investigators, who arrested 14 people associated with her, are keeping the 38-year-old woman’s true identity secret, but details have started to emerge. She was from the southern Belgian town of Charleroi, married to a Moroccan and converted to an extreme form of Islam.

“This is how she came into contact with the organisation which allowed her to become a fighter for jihad,” said Glenn Audenaert, the federal police director. Her Belgian documents show that she travelled with her husband to Iraq. On November 9 she blew herself up in a car bomb attack on a US military convoy, killing — according to conflicting reports — either only herself, or six people. Her Belgian passport was near by. Her husband was killed by American troops in a separate incident.

Security sources said that they knew of no other western European women suicide bombers. Al-Qaeda recently appealed for white converts to become suicide bombers, because it was easier for them to travel and evade detection before carrying out their attacks.

The enemy today is not just "Middle Eastern men". Now it is women, and individuals of European descent. Short of annihilating Islam as a cancer among us, destroying it root and branch, how do we combat the Islamist enemy without destroying our most preciouis liberties? Must we recognize Islam an exception to our pincipled support of religious liberty that liberty might survive? Or do we travel the path of pure principle, even if the cost of our lives or our liberties if the enemy is successful?

Sadly, I do not know. How do we balance the lives of many against the liberty of our enemy?





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Unintended Irony

Kenneth Lee Boyd killed his estranged wife and father-in-law in 1988 is scheduled to be the next condemned murder executed in the United States on Friday -- the 1000th since the resumption of the capital punishment in 1977.

In a recent interview, he made the following statement -- one with which I fully agree.

"I feel like I should be in prison for the rest of my life."

As a death penalty supporter, I have to agree.

And the rest of your life ends at 2:00 a.m. on Friday, December 2, 2005 -- bringing justice for those you murdered 17 years ago.

UPDATE: He got what he deserved this morning, December 2, 2005.





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Denis Leary And Comedy Central Mainstream Bigotry For The Christmas Season

Let’s set aside the offensive title of the show -- “Merry F#%$in’ Christmas”.

Can you believe that the Comedy Channel is airing and promoting Denis Leary's blasphemous garbage during one of the two most sacred times of the year for Christians?

“Merry Christmas. Tonight we celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus, whose mom, Mary, just happens to be a virgin—even after she apparently gave birth to Jesus. At least that is what the Catholic Church would have you believe. “Tom Cruise is taking a lot of s--- for belonging to a religion, Scientology, that believes aliens came to this planet 75 million years ago. That is nothing. I was raised Catholic. We believe Mary was a virgin and Jesus ended up walking on water, creating a bottomless jug of wine and rising from the dead. Oh, yeah, and Tom Cruise is crazy. “Listen, Christmas is built on a line of bulls---. Do I believe there was a baby Jesus? You bet your ass I do. But I believe that nine months before he was born someone sure as s--- banged the hell out of his mom.”

Ask yourself a simple question – would any media outlet air such vile crap about Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism and the core beliefs of any of those faiths at any time of the year – much less during a period that is particularly sacred to the faith in question? I think we all know the answer, hence the absence of Jerry Seinfeld’s “Happy F#%$in’ Passover” or similar “holiday” specials.

Do I believe this idiot has the legal right to say such things? Yes, I do -- just like the Klan and the Nazis have every right to spread their preferred brand of hatred, so do Leary and the Comedy Channel. I do not support government action to punish this speech which I despise.

Do I believe there should be consequences for such rabid anti-Christian blasphemy? Yes, I do – in the form of the destruction of Denis Leary’s career and of the Comedy Channel's economic viability. We believers can make both happen if we are prepared to stand up and flex our economic muscles to support our faith.





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Today’s Christmas Season Reflection

From Jeff Jacoby’s latest column.

''We're trying to be inclusive," says the Boston parks commissioner, explaining why the white spruce that was sent from Nova Scotia under a giant banner reading ''Merry Christmas, Boston" became a ''holiday tree" on her department's website. But suppressing the language, symbols, or customs of Christians in a predominantly Christian society is not inclusive. It's insulting.

It's discriminatory, too. Hanukkah menorahs are never referred to as ''holiday lamps" -- not even the giant menorahs erected in Boston Common and many other public venues each year by Chabad, the Hasidic Jewish outreach movement. No one worries that calling the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by its name -- or even celebrating it officially, as the White House does with an annual ''iftaar" dinner -- might be insensitive to non-Muslims. In this tolerant and open-hearted nation, religious minorities are not expected to keep their beliefs out of sight or to squelch their traditions lest someone, somewhere, take offense. Surely the religious majority shouldn't be expected to either.

As a practicing Jew, I don't celebrate Christmas. There is no Christmas tree in my home, my kids don't write letters to Santa Claus, and I don't attend church on Dec. 25 (or any other date). Does the knowledge that scores of millions of my fellow Americans do all those things make me feel excluded or offended? On the contrary: It makes me feel grateful -- to live in a land where freedom of religion shelters the Hanukkah menorah in my window no less than the Christmas tree in my neighbor's. That freedom is a reflection of America's Judeo-Christian culture, and a principal reason why, in this overwhelmingly Christian country, it isn't only Christians for whom Christmas is a season of joy. And why it isn't only Christians who should make a point of saying so.

Quite correct – the public marking of the Christmas holiday is not discriminatory. Rather, it is demands to mask its celebration in euphemisms that threaten to ultimately destroy religious freedom in America. After all, if the beliefs of the majority must yield to the voices of a few hyper-sensitive individuals demanding "inclusion", how much longer until thoe same restrictions fall upon the practitioners of minority faiths?





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Is It An Improvement?

They have listened to critics of the Flight 93 “Crescent of Embrace” design and taken another crack at memorializing the site where heroes died. Is it an improvement?

Designers of a Flight 93 memorial have made a bowl-shaped piece of land its centerpiece, replacing a crescent-shape design that some critics had said was a symbol honoring terrorists, officials announced Wednesday.

The new design for the memorial, to be built on the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, crash near Shanksville, features most of the details of the original, which was unveiled in September after a worldwide design competition.

But a round, bowl-shaped area would replace a "Crescent of Embrace," a crescent-shaped cluster of maple trees.

In September, Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., criticized the design in a letter to the National Park Service Director, saying many questioned the shape "because of the crescent's prominent use as a symbol in Islam _ and the fact that the hijackers were radical Islamists."

Paul Murdoch, president of Paul Murdoch Architects, which designed the memorial, had called the criticism of the crescent an "unfortunate diversion," but said they were sensitive to the concerns.

In both old and new versions of the design, a tower with 40 wind chimes welcomes visitors to the site, where they can then walk to a large circular field ringed by 40 groves of red and sugar maple trees, symbolizing the 40 passengers and crew who died. There will also be pedestrian trails, a plaza from which to view the crash site, and a white marble wall with the victims' names inscribed.

I’m still not in love with the design, but will concede that it is a movement in the right direction.

MORE AT Michelle Malkin, A Blog For All, JunkYardBlog, David Boyd, and Local Liberty.



» Error Theory links with: It is NOT an improvement
» Tel-Chai Nation links with: The camouflaged crescent



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The Old ‘Ho’s Of Oz

Why are time and money being spent to study this issue? What is the redeeming social value of research on geriatric prostitutes?

Prostitutes as old as 70 continue to work in rural Australia, pushed out of the cities due to strong competition from younger and more attractive sex workers, the author of a study says.

* * *
The research, by John Scott of the University of New England, examined prostitution in rural areas of New South Wales state. He found the sex industry has flourished in rural towns, with many prostitutes making regular visits.
"I've likened some of them to travelling musicians, in that some of them might be based in metropolitan centres and they go out and travel -- they tour the bush," Scott told Reuters.

[Insert Your Joke Here]

He said a sex worker might pass through a country town every couple of months, but would advertise in advance and book up appointments. He said sex workers in rural areas tended to be older, and provide more companionship than city sex workers.

"In a business that is based on looks and age a lot of the time, it became increasingly hard for workers as they progressed in age," Scott said.

Hookers who are old enough to qualify for Social Security? Yeah, it might be increasingly hard for them, but I think it would make customers increasingly soft. Maybe there is a reason all they want is cuddling and conversation





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Muslim Docs Discriminate Against Christian Colleague

Once upon a time, Great Britain was a Christian country.

Today it seems that it has become simply one more province of Eurabia.

After all, why else would a case like this ever come to pass?

An eye specialist has accepted undisclosed damages after claiming that he was forced out of his job by Muslim colleagues.

Joseph Erian took the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust to an employment tribunal, stating that he was made to resign from the ophthalmology department of Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, after staff there discovered that he was a Christian. The tribunal, which started earlier this month, ended when the trust offered an out-of-court settlement and admitted that the problems surrounding Dr Erian’s case “were not his fault”.

And lest you think this was not really a case of the hospital conceding guilt, consider this.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust initially denied all the allegations. But the tribunal was halted when the Trust’s lawyers agreed to pay undisclosed damages.

In other words, they saw that they were losing.

You might ask how he was forced to resign. It turned out that a short time after Dr. Erian's colleagues discovered that he was a Coptic Christian from Egypt, his job was suddenly and without warning advertised as being available. What's more, at least two other physicians from the same hospital are pursuing cases against it.

Dr. Erian's case is only the sixth successful one brought in the UK under the religious discrimination statute.

MORE AT: Western Resistance





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November 29, 2005

Anti-War Profiteer; Or Exploiting Your Dead Soldier For Fun And Profit

Look who’s making the big bucks pimping her dead son.

The State University College at Oneonta has booked a Fox News Channel military analyst to counter a lecture tonight by anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan.

Lt. Col. Scott Rutter, who retired from the Army in November 2003 after leading a mechanized infantry battalion into Baghdad, will give a presentation sponsored by the student-run College Union Activities Council at noon Friday in the Hunt Union Square.

CUAC is also sponsoring an appearance by Sheehan at 8 p.m. tonight in the Hunt Union Ballroom.

Both events are part of "Making a Difference Week," said CUAC lecture chairwoman Erin Dromgoole, who helped book both speakers earlier this month.
Sheehan is getting paid $11,000 for the hour-long talk, while Rutter will receive his standard fee of $600 for his presentation, Dromgoole said.

I’ve got no problem with speakers being paid – even generously – for their efforts. But $11,000 for this brainless anti-American witch whose book sales are tanking as Americans reject her strident falsehoods? Seems a bit much to me, especially when compared to the asking price for a real American hero.

But then again, maybe it has a lot to do the relative availability of such speakers. Distinguished veterans who support the war are pretty common – traitorous hags who will dishonor their dead children are much harder to come by.


MORE AT: Michelle Malkin, Right Politics, Eric's Boredom Revealed, Urban Grounds, The Mind of IrishWalsh, Bird of Paradise and Cake Or Death?.





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Free Speech/Free Religion Victory In Sweden

Liberals used to support the right of people to say that which is unpopular. Now they try to shut down speech with which they disagree. So it comes as a real surprise that Ake Green was found not guilty of violating hate speech laws in Sweden for preaching a very traditional sermon about homosexuality.

Sweden's highest court on Tuesday acquitted a Pentecostal pastor accused of hate speech for having denounced homosexuality as a "cancerous tumor" in a sermon.

Ake Green's contentious sermon in 2003 was protected by freedom of speech and religion under the European Convention on Human Rights, the Supreme Court said in a 16-page ruling.

Green, 64, became the first clergyman convicted under Sweden's hate crimes legislation, when a lower court found him guilty of inciting hatred against homosexuals. An appeals court overturned the ruling earlier this year, but Sweden's chief prosecutor appealed the acquittal to the Supreme Court.

Green said the Supreme Court ruling was a relief both for him other preachers.
Sweden's highest court on Tuesday acquitted a Pentecostal pastor accused of hate speech for having denounced homosexuality as a "cancerous tumor" in a sermon.

Ake Green's contentious sermon in 2003 was protected by freedom of speech and religion under the European Convention on Human Rights, the Supreme Court said in a 16-page ruling.

Green, 64, became the first clergyman convicted under Sweden's hate crimes legislation, when a lower court found him guilty of inciting hatred against homosexuals. An appeals court overturned the ruling earlier this year, but Sweden's chief prosecutor appealed the acquittal to the Supreme Court.

Green said the Supreme Court ruling was a relief both for him other preachers.
The trial ended earlier this month, but the verdict was not issued until Tuesday.

The decision cited European human rights laws to uphold the right to preach the Gospel unmolested by government interference.





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Not A Government Matter

Despite the upcoming confirmation hearing for Samuel Alito and the stalled hearings on other Bush nominees – not to mention the delay in sending a constitutional amendment to the states banning gay marriage – Arlen Specter still has too much time on his hands. Now he wants to tell the Eagles how to deal with Terrell Owens.

Sen. Arlen Specter accused the National Football League and the Philadelphia Eagles of treating Terrell Owens unfairly and said he might refer the matter to the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs.

Specter said at a news conference Monday in Harrisburg it was "vindictive and inappropriate" for the league and the Eagles to forbid the all-pro wide receiver from playing and prevent other teams from talking to him.

"It's a restraint of trade for them to do that, and the thought crosses my mind, it might be a violation of antitrust laws," Specter said, though some other legal experts disagreed.

The Eagles suspended Owens on Nov. 5 for four games without pay for "conduct detrimental to the team, and deactivated him with pay on Sunday after the suspension ended.

Arbitrator Richard Bloch said last week the team's actions were supported by the labor agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association.

How did the Pennsylvania RINO and expert in arcane Scottish law come to this conclusion?

Specter emphasized that he was "not a supporter of Terrell Owens."

"I am madder than hell at what he has done in ruining the Eagles' season," the Pennsylvania Republican said. "I think he's in flagrant breach of his contract and I believe the Eagles would be within their rights in not paying him another dime or perhaps even suing him for damages."

But Specter said, "I do not believe, personally, that it is appropriate to punish him (by forcing him to sit out the rest of the season). He's not committed a crime, he's committed a breach of contract. And what they're doing against him is vindictive."

Uh, Arlen, you are right – it is vindictive. But the Eagles are fulfilling the terms of T.O.’s contract – paying him every penny they legally owe him. They are simply not using the services they are paying for. That is simply a business decision. If they want to spend that money and keep him benched, they are within their rights to do so. It is no different than what goes on in radio and television – stations buy the rights to syndicated shows but to keep them out of the hands of rival stations, but do not broadcast them.

And Senator, therea re some folks who are much more versed in sports and labor law than you are who have a very different view on the matter.

"The arbitrator's decision is consistent with our collective bargaining agreement, and it simply enforced the terms of the player's contract," Greg Aiello, an NFL spokesman, said Monday.

"To have an antitrust violation, you have to have a contract or conspiracy in restraint of trade," said Robert McCormick, a law professor at Michigan State University.

Matthew J. Mitten, director of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University, said, "We're in the labor arena, not antitrust."

And quite simply, Specter, there is no federal issue here – so shut up and let the Eagles take the course of action that is best for the NFL.





|| Greg, 07:34 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Support For the Anti-Anti-Death Penalty Argument

One of the arguments against the death penalty is that there is always the possibility of executing a wrongly convicted person. I’ll concede that is true, and may have happened at different times. But what is the cost – in innocent lives – of not executing murderers?

Opponents of capital punishment give us names of innocents who would have been killed by the state had their convictions stood and they been actually executed, and a few executed convicts whom they believe might have been innocent. But proponents can name men and women who really were -- not might have been -- murdered by convicted murderers while in prison. The murdered include prison guards, fellow inmates, and innocent men and women outside of prison.

In 1974, Clarence Ray Allen ordered a 17-year-old young woman, Mary Sue Kitts, murdered because she knew of Allen's involvement in a Fresno, Calif., store burglary.

After his 1977 trial and conviction, Allen was sentenced to life without parole.
According to San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders, "In Folsom State Prison, Allen cooked up a scheme to kill the witnesses who testified against him so that he could appeal his conviction and then be freed because any witnesses were dead -- or scared into silence." As a result, three more innocent people were murdered -- Bryon Schletewitz, 27, Josephine Rocha, 17, and Douglas White, 18.

This time, a jury sentenced Allen to death, the only death sentence ever handed down by a Glenn County (California) jury. That was in 1982.

Had Ray been executed his three later victims would likely still be alive today. Instead, the creature who coldly initiated their deaths is still alive – his execution repeatedly postponed by a legal system more concerned about possible violations of his rights than about justice for his victims and their families.

Similarly, there is the horrific case of Jack Abbot, freed a killer freed from prison at the behest of the celebrity effete.

Perhaps the most infamous case of a death penalty opponent directly causing the murder of an innocent is that of novelist Norman Mailer. In 1981, Mailer utilized his influence to obtain parole for a bank robber and murderer named Jack Abbott on the grounds that Abbott was a talented writer.

Six weeks after being paroled, Abbott murdered Richard Adan, a 22-year-old newlywed, aspiring actor and playwright who was waiting tables at his father's restaurant.

Mailer's reaction? "Culture is worth a little risk," he told the press. "I'm willing to gamble with a portion of society to save this man's talent."

In other words, for the sake of “art” and “culture”, Mailer is willing to risk the lives of innocent, unimportant victims, men and women who do not make a significant contribution to the world.

I dread the possibility of a wrongful execution. But it is better that we take such a risk than knowingly allowing a rabid dog to run wild, attacking and killing at will.





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Liberal Detroit Paper Nails Moore

Gotta love this.

Filmmaker Michael Moore weighed in on the GM plant closings by saying "General Motors continues its destruction of cities like Flint and the American middle class," according to USA Today. As though GM doesn't want to sell cars, make money and strengthen communities. But if Moore thinks he can do a better job, he could hire the laid-off workers and build cars.

Ouch!





|| Greg, 07:31 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Demonizing Men

Are all men potential molesters of kids? Apparently so, according to Qantas and Air New Zealand.

Two airlines "down under" are under fire after acknowledging their policy of not allowing an unaccompanied child passenger to sit next to a man.

The policy emerged when a New Zealand man said he was asked by airline staff to move because an unaccompanied minor had been assigned the seat next to him.

Mark Worsley was told to swap seats with a woman sitting nearby, who then moved into the seat next to the boy, about eight years old, for the 80-minute flight.

"I was pretty shocked -- I think most people would be," the 37-year-old shipping manager and father of two said Tuesday.

"I complied straight away and moved seats. But as I sat on the plane during the flight I got more and more angry about it."

Part of the problem, Worsley said, was that the plane was full. When the flight attendant arranged the seat swap, "certainly there was enough disruption that people in the immediate vicinity would have heard what was going on. I felt totally embarrassed."

He had later confronted the airline staff, who confirmed the company policy.

Now given what we know about child abuse, especially from certain recent cases, it can come from either sex. To demand a man move simply because of his gender is absurd. Not only that, it is intolerable.

Unfortunately, some don’t see it that way – and they are in charge of enforcing laws against sex discrimination.

The airlines did win support from one quarter. Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro, a government appointee, commended Qantas and Air New Zealand for their efforts to keep child passengers safe.

Kiro said she doubted the policy was meant as a slur against men.

It may not have been meant as a slur against men, but it certainly was a slur against men. This ding-dong needs to be pursued out of office by a mob lobbing rotten vegetables.

Oh, yeah -- and the authorities down-under need to correct thsi offense against the dignity of men.





|| Greg, 07:31 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Doing It For Mama?

Well, now we know why that guy ran on to the field during the Eagle’s game against the Packers on Sunday. He was spreading his mother’s ashes, since she was an Eagle’s fan.

Christopher Noteboom, of Tempe, Ariz., ran onto the field holding a plastic bag, leaving a cloud of fine powder behind.

As he reached the 30-yard line, he dropped to his knees, made the sign of the cross and laid down on his stomach. Security personnel reached him moments later and he offered no resistance as he was escorted from the field.

The 33-year-old Noteboom, a native of Doylestown, said his mother died of emphysema in January 2005, shortly before the Eagles' Super Bowl appearance.

"She never cared for any other team except the Eagles," Noteboom told WPVI-TV after he was released from custody Monday. "I know that the last handful of ashes I had are laying on the field, and will never be taken away. She'll always be part of Lincoln Financial Field and of the Eagles."

Noteboom, a bar owner in Arizona, was charged with defiant trespass. He has a hearing scheduled for Dec. 27.

"It's bizarre, but we have a zero tolerance for people who run on the field," Police Inspector William Colarulo said. "We especially have a zero tolerance for people who run onto the field and dump an unknown substance in a stadium full of people."

Eagles spokeswoman Bonnie Grant said the team has declined requests to spread ashes on the field.

You know, if they changed their minds on allowing human remains to be spread around the field, perhaps they could assign such duties to Terrell Owens – I hear he isn’t working right now.





|| Greg, 07:29 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Words Of Wisdom

Jonah's mama, Lucianne Goldberg, has this up on her site today. I think it is timely and needs frequent repetition to fend off the cultural attacks that come this time of year.

christmastree.jpg

This is a Christmas tree.
It is not a Hanukkah bush, it is not Allah plant, it is not a Holiday hedge.
It is a Christmas tree.
Say it...Christmas, Christmas, Christmas



» UrbanGrounds links with: It’s a Christmas Tree



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November 28, 2005

Canadian Government Falls

Paul Martin's Liberal government fell today in Canada when it failed a no-confidence vote.

The short-lived 38th Parliament met its demise on Monday night, setting the stage for the longest election campaigns in two decades, as the Liberal government was defeated in a no-confidence vote at the hands of all three opposition parties and the country was launched into official election mode.

The Liberals lost the vote in the House of Commons 133 to 171, beginning a series of events that will propel voters toward the ballot boxes, likely on Jan. 23.

Prime Minister Paul Martin will officially call a federal election on Tuesday.


It appears that the new election will be held somewhere around January 23, 2006.

It strikes me that there are two vital questions to ask here, questions that the whole world wants answered.

1) What will be the outcome of the election -- a change in national leadership or a continued Liberal domination of Canadian politics?

2) Ig that funny looking round stuff is called Canadian bacon down here in the states, what do they call our long strips of bacon in Soviet Kanuckistan?





|| Greg, 08:40 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

War On Christmas In America

Absolutely unbelievable! Cultural sensitivity for the foreigners among us -- but none for the majority of Americans!

Look at this sign in Lowes in Austin, Texas (the official loony liberal reservation here in the Lone Star State)

Lowesbanner1.jpg

As the battle over Christmas continues across America this year, consumers are taking notice for themselves.

In Austin, Texas, for instance, a banner was displayed this weekend at a new Lowe's home-improvement store.

In English, the sign reads: "Now Here! Fresh Cut Holiday Trees."

But in Spanish, the sign reads: "Now Here! Fresh Cut Christmas Trees."

"It's OK to offend all the English-speaking Christians, but no, not the Spanish speakers. They may be just visiting," a WorldNetDaily reader in Austin said.

"By the way," the reader noted, "they only had 'Christmas' tree stands for their fresh cut 'Holiday' trees. P.S. Merry Christmas."

But even up in the Dallas area, there are still those out to suppress any possible hint of what the major December holiday celebration is in this country.

"Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund and Liberty Legal Institute filed a federal civil rights lawsuit today against the Plano Independent School District for a discriminatory policy that censors the Christmas religious expression of students and their parents."

With that, all believers cheer forth a holy AMEN.

"Christmas colors, school officials have prohibited students from exchanging candy canes and pencils with religious messages on them, using reindeer symbols, or writing ‘Merry Christmas’ on greeting cards to U.S. soldiers because the phrase might ‘offend someone.’ The district has even applied its policy to parents involved in school activities, barring them from exchanging ‘religious’ Christmas items with other parents."

This surely will bring much protest from the Bible belt Texans. Particularly the Baptists should rise up en masse, sending those school "educators" a truck load of Merry, Blessed Christmas cards, all pictured with baby Jesus and prayers for repentance on the part of those who are into devilment decision making.

"’The district’s policy is what is offensive. It is offensive to the 96 percent of Americans who celebrate Christmas,’ McCaleb said. ‘If the district truly wants to avoid offending someone, then they will change their incredibly restrictive and unconstitutional policy.

"’The U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled that public schools must prohibit the distribution of candy canes or Christmas cards. They have never ruled that you can’t say ‘Merry Christmas’ in the public schools. These attempts to stifle all religious expression and sanitize Christmas of all religious content are tiring to the overwhelming majority of Texans and all Americans.’"

That we have to resort to litigation to recognize the cultural traditions of the majority is an absurdity and an obscenity. I'm all for protecting the rights of the minority -- but when will the rights of the overwhelming majority be given anything akin to equal respect?


UPDATE: Christmas wins!





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Template Change -- Feedback Solicited

So, folks, what do you think?

Eric from "Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave" supplied the template and engineered out some bugs.

Hube from "Colossus of Rhodey" supplied the inspiration for the banner.

I picked the colors and did the actual banner work.

Your serious and constructive comments are solicited.





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Does The Public Really Back Cut-And-Run Dems?

I have to wonder, given the polling results on the question of troop morale.

Democrats fumed last week at Vice President Dick Cheney's suggestion that criticism of the administration's war policies was itself becoming a hindrance to the war effort. But a new poll indicates most Americans are sympathetic to Cheney's point.

Seventy percent of people said criticism of the war by Democratic senators hurts troop morale — with 44 percent saying morale is hurt "a lot," according to a poll taken by RT Strategies.

Even self-identified Democrats agree: 55 percent say criticism hurts morale.
The results surely will rankle many Democrats, who argue that it is patriotic to call attention to what they say are flaws in President Bush's strategy for Iraq. But the survey itself cannot be dismissed as a partisan attack. Thomas Riehle, a Democrat, and Lance Tarrance, a veteran GOP pollster, make up the RT in RT Strategies.

Their poll also indicates many Americans are skeptical of Democratic complaints about the war. Just three out of 10 adults accept that Democrats are leveling criticism because they think this will help U.S. efforts in Iraq. A majority think the motive is to "gain a partisan political advantage."

My take? I believe that the American public does not want the war in Iraq to continue one second longer than it needs to – but knows damn well that any exit strategy except victory for the US and a functioning, secure Iraq is unacceptable. That means that Americans are not in bed with MoveOn.Org and Cindy Sheehan, but are much closer to the position advocated by the Bush Administration. And even more importantly, the American people do not see the Surrender Party’s words a s being based upon patriotism – they recognize the newly vocal rhetoric as nothing more than political hackery of the most insidious kind, morale-sapping partisanship that does nothing to help reach the goal of a true peace with honor.





|| Greg, 04:22 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Put Him Away

Having made a plea of guilty to these charges, Cunningham needs to do jail time.

Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham pleaded guilty Monday morning to conspiring to take bribes in exchange for using his influence to help a defense contractor get business.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of income tax evasion.

U.S. District Larry A. Burns scheduled Cunninghman's sentencing for Feb. 27.

Cunningham, an eight-term Republican congressman, had been under scrutiny for months for his ties to defense contractors and their officials.

Federal officials launched investigations after The San Diego Union-Tribune and Copley News Service reported in June that a defense contractor who won tens of millions of dollars in Pentagon contracts had taken a $700,000 loss after purchasing Cunningham's Del Mar house.

Cunningham sold the house for $1.675 million in November 2003, but the buyer, defense contractor Mitchell Wade, never moved in and almost immediately put it back on the market. Wade sold it 261 days later for $975,000.

Prosecutors contend the overpayment was a bribe.

The congressman, who sits on the House defense appropriations subcommittee, used the proceeds of the sale to buy a $2.55 million house in Rancho Santa Fe, which he has since put up for sale.

Cunningham, a former Navy Top Gun pilot, was first elected to Congress in 1990. The 63-year-old Republican represents a district that stretches from northern San Diego to Escondido and San Marcos and then along the coast from Carlsbad to Del Mar. He has vowed not to seek reelection and plans to retire next year, at the end of his term.

This corrupt politician is a disgrace to the country he once served, before he decided to serve himself instead. He needs to be out of office much sooner than the end of his term -- even if it hurts the GOP.

UPDATE: Cunningham has resigned in disgrace. I’m glad to hear it.





|| Greg, 04:21 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Misplaced Priorities

Ordinarily, I would have deep admiration for any performer who announced plans to boycott Red China over the torture and cruelty that regularly occurs in that country. After all, that regressive dictatorship oppresses nearly one quarter of humanity, and the world ought to make their liberation one of its priorities.

Unfortunately, Sir Paul McCartney doesn’t give a crap about the lack of human freedom in China. He’s refusing to perform there because of the killing of dogs and cats for fur.

The ex-Beatle was given a preview screening of undercover footage taken in a fur market in Guangzhou, southern China.

Dogs and cats are shown being thrown from the top deck of a converted bus onto concrete pavements.

In another piece of footage, cats are seen squirming inside a sack before being thrown into a vat of boiling water.

Smiling, laughing workers are also filmed senselessly beating the animals to death.

The report, which was filmed by an investigator linked to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) campaign group, will be shown on Monday night on the BBC's Six O'clock News.

Sir Paul and wife Heather were close to tears as they watched the undercover report.

Sir Paul told the BBC: "This is barbaric. Horrific. It's like something out of the dark ages. And they seem to get a kick out of it. They're just sick, sick people.
"I wouldn't even dream of going over there to play, in the same way that I wouldn't go to a country that supported apartheid.

"This is just disgusting. It's just against every rule of humanity. I couldn't go there. If they want to consider themselves a civilised nation they're going to have to stop this."

So let me get this straight. The political oppression and general violations of human rights that occur on a daily basis in Red China and which have been known for years are not sufficient to get McCartney to stand up to the butchers in Beijing – but cruelty to animals put the Communist dictatorship beyond the pale.

Sir Paul – where are your priorities and sense of proportion? Why are animals more important to you than human beings?





|| Greg, 04:16 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Average Recruit Richer, Better Educated Than America

Anti-war activists claim that this war is being fought by poorer, lest-educated minorities for the benefit of the white monied elite. Interestingly enough, the demographics of today's military shows something very different.

According to a comprehensive study of all enlistees for the years 1998-99 and 2003 that The Heritage Foundation just released, the typical recruit in the all-volunteer force is wealthier, more educated and more rural than the average 18- to 24-year-old citizen is. Indeed, for every two recruits coming from the poorest neighborhoods, there are three recruits coming from the richest neighborhoods.

Consider these statistics on education and socio-economic status.

If, for example, we consider the education of every recruit, 98% joined with high-school diplomas or better. By comparison, 75% of the general population meets that standard. Among all three-digit ZIP code areas in the USA in 2003 (one can study larger areas by isolating just the first three digits of ZIP codes), not one had a higher graduation rate among civilians than among its recruits.

In fact, since the 9/11 attacks, more volunteers have emerged from the middle and upper classes and fewer from the lowest-income groups. In 1999, both the highest fifth of the nation in income and the lowest fifth were slightly underrepresented among military volunteers. Since 2001, enlistments have increased in the top two-fifths of income levels but have decreased among the lowest fifth.

Oh, and about the breakdown between black and white -- the differnce between those serving in the military and the public at large is not significant. Whites constitutes 75.8% of the military, and 77.4% of the public at large. Blacks are 14.1% of the military, and 14.6% of the entire population. In neither case is the gap at significant variance from the nation as a whole.

Who wants to bet that the facts don't get int the way of the rhetoric of those who want to attack the president, the war, and the American military?





|| Greg, 05:37 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Question Of Human Life

One of my high school clasmates is married to a neo-natal specialist who fights (with great success) to save children born prematurely, as early as the fifth and sixth months of pregnancy. A few blocks down the street is the office of one of the most aggressive abortionists in the United States, where a so-called healer takes the lives of babies into to the eighth month of pregnancy. I've long been struck by the conflict between their work.

Accoding to a report in Great Britain, at leaset 50 babies a year are born alive following abortion.

A GOVERNMENT agency is launching an inquiry into doctors’ reports that up to 50 babies a year are born alive after botched National Health Service abortions.

The investigation, by the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH), comes amid growing unease among clinicians over a legal ambiguity that could see them being charged with infanticide.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which regulates methods of abortion, has also mounted its own investigation.

Its guidelines say that babies aborted after more than 21 weeks and six days of gestation should have their hearts stopped by an injection of potassium chloride before being delivered. In practice, few doctors are willing or able to perform the delicate procedure.

For the abortion of younger foetuses, labour is induced by drugs in the expectation that the infant will not survive the birth process. Guidelines say that doctors should ensure that the drugs they use prevent such babies being alive at birth.

In practice, according to Stuart Campbell, former professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at St George’s hospital, London, a number do survive.

“They can be born breathing and crying at 19 weeks’ gestation,” he said. “I am not anti-abortion, but as far as I am concerned this is sub-standard medicine.”

The number of terminations carried out in the 18th week of pregnancy or later has risen from 5,166 in 1994 to 7,432 last year. Prenatal diagnosis for conditions such as Down’s syndrome is increasing and foetuses with the condition are routinely aborted, even though many might be capable of leading fulfilling lives. In the past decade, doctors’ skill in saving the lives of premature babies has improved radically: at least 70%-80% of babies in their 23rd or 24th week of gestation now survive long-term.

Abortion on demand is allowed in Britain up to 24 weeks — more than halfway through a normal pregnancy and the highest legal limit for such terminations in Europe. France and Germany permit “social” abortions only up to the 10th and 12th weeks respectively.

Doctors are increasingly uneasy about aborting babies who could be born alive. “If viability is the basis on which they set the 24-week limit for abortion, then the simplest answer is to change the law and reduce the upper limit to 18 weeks,” said Campbell, who last year published a book showing images of foetuses’ facial expressions and “walking” movements taken with a form of 3-D ultrasound.

The Department of Health was alerted three months ago to the issue of babies surviving failed terminations. In August clinicians in Manchester published an analysis of 31 such babies born in northwest England between 1996 and 2001.

“If a baby is born alive following a failed abortion and then dies (because of lack of care), you could potentially be charged with murder,” said Shantala Vadeyar, a consultant obstetrician at South Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust, who led the study.

Ultimately, it comes down to a question of human life. Why does any society countenance the killing of viable children? And if the most vulnerable among us are declared without worth and subject to extermination while still in the womb, what rights do they have if they manage to escape their intended fates and take a first breath? Does the fact that these children are now unquestionably alive imbue them with full human rights?

Or is a woman seeking an abortion entitled to a dead baby?
In short, when are we, as a society, going to recognize the critical disconnect between our medical abilty to save babies born at increasingly early stages of pregnancy and the legal willingness to take the lives of such infants?





|| Greg, 05:26 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 27, 2005

Jihad Vs. Crusade -- Which Came First?

We always hear about the evil of the Crusades and the righteous indignation of Muslims over a series of wars that provide a poor witness to the Gospel. However, was Islam an innocent victim, or were the crusades a response to a long series of Muslim religious conquest of Christian lands and oppression of Christian believers?

Take a look at the timeline and decide. I'll put Muslim jihad against Christian lands in bold, and Christian assaults on Islamic lands in italics.

630 Two years before Muhammad’s death of a fever, he launches the Tabuk Crusades, in which he led 30,000 jihadists against the Byzantine Christians. He had heard a report that a huge army had amassed to attack Arabia, but the report turned out to be a false rumor. The Byzantine army never materialized. He turned around and went home, but not before extracting “agreements” from northern tribes. They could enjoy the “privilege” of living under Islamic “protection” (read: not be attacked by Islam), if they paid a tax (jizya).

This tax sets the stage for Muhammad’s and the later Caliphs’ policies. If the attacked city or region did not want to convert to Islam, then they paid a jizya tax. If they converted, then they paid a zakat tax. Either way, money flowed back to the Islamic treasury in Arabia or to the local Muslim governor.

632-634 Under the Caliphate of Abu Bakr the Muslim Crusaders reconquer and sometimes conquer for the first time the polytheists of Arabia. These Arab polytheists had to convert to Islam or die. They did not have the choice of remaining in their faith and paying a tax. Islam does not allow for religious freedom.

633 The Muslim Crusaders, led by Khalid al-Walid, a superior but bloodthirsty military commander, whom Muhammad nicknamed the Sword of Allah for his ferocity in battle (Tabari, 8:158 / 1616-17), conquer the city of Ullays along the Euphrates River (in today’s Iraq). Khalid captures and beheads so many that a nearby canal, into which the blood flowed, was called Blood Canal (Tabari 11:24 / 2034-35).

634 At the Battle of Yarmuk in Syria the Muslim Crusaders defeat the Byzantines. Today Osama bin Laden draws inspiration from the defeat, and especially from an anecdote about Khalid al-Walid. An unnamed Muslim remarks: “The Romans are so numerous and the Muslims so few.” To this Khalid retorts: “How few are the Romans, and how many the Muslims! Armies become numerous only with victory and few only with defeat, not by the number of men. By God, I would love it . . . if the enemy were twice as many” (Tabari, 11:94 / 2095). Osama bin Ladin quotes Khalid and says that his fighters love death more than we in the West love life. This philosophy of death probably comes from a verse like Sura 2:96. Muhammad assesses the Jews: “[Prophet], you are sure to find them [the Jews] clinging to life more eagerly than any other people, even polytheists” (MAS Abdel Haleem, The Qur’an, Oxford UP, 2004; first insertion in brackets is Haleem’s; the second mine).

634-644 The Caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab, who is regarded as particularly brutal.

635 Muslim Crusaders besiege and conquer of Damascus

636 Muslim Crusaders defeat Byzantines decisively at Battle of Yarmuk.

637 Muslim Crusaders conquer Iraq at the Battle of al-Qadisiyyah (some date it in 635 or 636)

638 Muslim Crusaders conquer and annex Jerusalem, taking it from the Byzantines.

638-650 Muslim Crusaders conquer Iran, except along Caspian Sea.

639-642 Muslim Crusaders conquer Egypt.

641 Muslim Crusaders control Syria and Palestine.

643-707 Muslim Crusaders conquer North Africa.

644 Caliph Umar is assassinated by a Persian prisoner of war; Uthman ibn Affan is elected third Caliph, who is regarded by many Muslims as gentler than Umar.

644-650 Muslim Crusaders conquer Cyprus, Tripoli in North Africa, and establish Islamic rule in Iran, Afghanistan, and Sind.

656 Caliph Uthman is assassinated by disgruntled Muslim soldiers; Ali ibn Abi Talib, son-in-law and cousin to Muhammad, who married the prophet’s daughter Fatima through his first wife Khadija, is set up as Caliph.

656 Battle of the Camel, in which Aisha, Muhammad’s wife, leads a rebellion against Ali for not avenging Uthman’s assassination. Ali’s partisans win.

657 Battle of Siffin between Ali and Muslim governor of Jerusalem, arbitration goes against Ali

661 Murder of Ali by an extremist; Ali’s supporters acclaim his son Hasan as next Caliph, but he comes to an agreement with Muawiyyah I and retires to Medina.

661-680 the Caliphate of Muawiyyah I. He founds Umayyid dynasty and moves capital from Medina to Damascus

673-678 Arabs besiege Constantinople, capital of Byzantine Empire

680 Massacre of Hussein (Muhammad’s grandson), his family, and his supporters in Karbala, Iraq.

691 Dome of the Rock is completed in Jerusalem, only six decades after Muhammad’s death.

705 Abd al-Malik restores Umayyad rule.

710-713 Muslim Crusaders conquer the lower Indus Valley.

711-713 Muslim Crusaders conquer Spain and impose the kingdom of Andalus. This article recounts how Muslims today still grieve over their expulsion 700 years later. They seem to believe that the land belonged to them in the first place.

719 Cordova, Spain, becomes seat of Arab governor

732 The Muslim Crusaders stopped at the Battle of Poitiers; that is, Franks (France) halt Arab advance

749 The Abbasids conquer Kufah and overthrow Umayyids

756 Foundation of Umayyid amirate in Cordova, Spain, setting up an independent kingdom from Abbasids

762 Foundation of Baghdad

785 Foundation of the Great Mosque of Cordova

789 Rise of Idrisid amirs (Muslim Crusaders) in Morocco; foundation of Fez; Christoforos, a Muslim who converted to Christianity, is executed.

800 Autonomous Aghlabid dynasty (Muslim Crusaders) in Tunisia

807 Caliph Harun al-Rashid orders the destruction of non-Muslim prayer houses and of the church of Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem

809 Aghlabids (Muslim Crusaders) conquer Sardinia, Italy

813 Christians in Palestine are attacked; many flee the country

831 Muslim Crusaders capture Palermo, Italy; raids in Southern Italy

850 Caliph al-Matawakkil orders the destruction of non-Muslim houses of prayer

855 Revolt of the Christians of Hims (Syria)

837-901 Aghlabids (Muslim Crusaders) conquer Sicily, raid Corsica, Italy, France

869-883 Revolt of black slaves in Iraq

909 Rise of the Fatimid Caliphate in Tunisia; these Muslim Crusaders occupy Sicily, Sardinia

928-969 Byzantine military revival, they retake old territories, such as Cyprus (964) and Tarsus (969)

937 The Ikhshid, a particularly harsh Muslim ruler, writes to Emperor Romanus, boasting of his control over the holy places

937 The Church of the Resurrection (known as Church of Holy Sepulcher in Latin West) is burned down by Muslims; more churches in Jerusalem are attacked

960 Conversion of Qarakhanid Turks to Islam

966 Anti-Christian riots in Jerusalem

969 Fatimids (Muslim Crusaders) conquer Egypt and found Cairo

c. 970 Seljuks enter conquered Islamic territories from the East

973 Israel and southern Syria are again conquered by the Fatimids

1003 First persecutions by al-Hakim; the Church of St. Mark in Fustat, Egypt, is destroyed

1009 Destruction of the Church of the Resurrection by al-Hakim (see 937)

1012 Beginning of al-Hakim’s oppressive decrees against Jews and Christians

1015 Earthquake in Palestine; the dome of the Dome of the Rock collapses

1031 Collapse of Umayyid Caliphate and establishment of 15 minor independent dynasties throughout Muslim Andalus

1048 Reconstruction of the Church of the Resurrection completed

1050 Creation of Almoravid (Muslim Crusaders) movement in Mauretania; Almoravids (aka Murabitun) are coalition of western Saharan Berbers; followers of Islam, focusing on the Quran, the hadith, and Maliki law.

1055 Seljuk Prince Tughrul enters Baghdad, consolidation of the Seljuk Sultanate

1055 Confiscation of property of Church of the Resurrection

1071 Battle of Manzikert, Seljuk Turks (Muslim Crusaders) defeat Byzantines and occupy much of Anatolia

1071 Turks (Muslim Crusaders) invade Palestine

1073 Conquest of Jerusalem by Turks (Muslim Crusaders)

1075 Seljuks (Muslim Crusaders) capture Nicea (Iznik) and make it their capital in Anatolia

1076 Almoravids (Muslim Crusaders) (see 1050) conquer western Ghana

1085 Toledo is taken back by Christian armies

1086 Almoravids (Muslim Crusaders) (see 1050) send help to Andalus, Battle of Zallaca

1090-1091 Almoravids (Muslim Crusaders) occupy all of Andalus except Saragossa and Balearic Islands

1094 Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus I asks western Christendom for help against Seljuk invasions of his territory; Seljuks are Muslim Turkish family of eastern origins; see 970

1095 Pope Urban II preaches first Crusade; they capture Jerusalem in 1099

So, let's consider these simple questions. Were the Crusades an unprovoked assault by the Christian world upon Islam, or a Christian response to a long train of attacks and assaults upon Christian nations, Christian institutions, and Christian people? Is the anti-Christian rhetoric of Osama and the Islamists a response to the Crusades, or a true expression of Islam that dates back to its foundation?

I believe the above makes the answers quite obvious.





|| Greg, 07:57 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Big Money Donors Are Bad For America -- Unless Lhey Are Liberals

You have got to love such hypocrisy on the part of those who claim big campaign donors are a source of corruption in politics.

But liberals' abhorrence of political money is selective. Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, recently reported that when Democratic senators met in a Capitol room near the Senate floor to plan strategy, their leader, Harry Reid, permitted Stephen Bing to attend. In 2004, Bing, 40, gave more than $14 million of his inherited wealth to Democratic candidates and liberal groups supporting them.

Was there any appearance of impropriety—say, cash purchasing access? Gosh, no, said Democrats to Roll Call: "Reid's aides and other Senate Democrats said there is nothing wrong with such a big donor attending meetings otherwise open to only senators and a few top aides, because Bing is not a lobbyist and is not seeking any favors from Democrats." Sen. Barbara Boxer explained that Bing is "just really interested in making this country better." Oh, well, in that case...

Well, we now know th eprice of the Left -- $14 million.





|| Greg, 07:27 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Sheehan & Supporters Bash Press

Cindy Sheehan, who owes her noteriety to the media giving too much attention to her last August, is now a media critic. Seems she and her supporters think the media is too soft on George W. Bush and too hard on her.

Sheehan supporters often fault the news media for questioning her motives and giving equal weight to pro-Bush demonstrators. Sheehan's detractors lament that journalists continue to give her consequence by reporting on her activities.

But the harshest critics of the so-called mainstream media are Sheehan and her immediate circle of activists.

Last summer, when her 26-day, anti-war vigil was front-page, international news, Sheehan often complained — to large groups of journalists — that the news media were ignoring the story of the anti-war movement.

Last week, it was the same message. Journalists visiting Camp Casey, the protest site named for Sheehan's son who was killed in the Iraq war, were frequently dressed down for various omissions and transgressions.

Jacque Betz, an anti-war demonstrator from Waldo, Fla., scolded journalists for failing to aggressively pursue claims that Bush wanted to bomb the Arab news organization Al-Jazeera.

Hey, Cindy -- you don;t get to micromanage the press. And given your book, speaking fees, and lies about your meeting with the President, I think you are due a little scrutiny.





|| Greg, 07:19 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 26, 2005

Watcher's Council Results

The winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Acute Senatitis by Gates of Vienna, and Murtha's War by Done With Mirrors. The full results of the vote are found at the Watcher of Weasels.





|| Greg, 08:06 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 25, 2005

No Connection? You Decide

I had a commenter here recently claim that there was no evidence of connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq prior to the current war. Perhaps these might be worth considering.

This charge is false for several reasons — and illogical for even more. Almost every responsible U.S. government body had long warned about Saddam's links to al-Qaida terrorists. In 1998, for example, when the Clinton Justice Department indicted bin Laden, the writ read: "In addition, al-Qaida reached an understanding with the Government of Iraq that al-Qaida would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al-Qaida would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq."

Then in October 2002, George Tenet, the Clinton-appointed CIA director, warned the Senate in similar terms: "We have solid reporting of senior-level contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida going back a decade." Seventy-seven senators apparently agreed — including a majority of Democrats — and cited just that connection a few days later as a cause to go to war against Saddam: " ... Whereas members of al-Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq."

The bipartisan consensus about this unholy alliance was not based on intriguing but unconfirmed rumors of meetings between Saddam's intelligence agents and al-Qaida operatives such as Sept. 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta. Nor did the senators or the president ever claim that Saddam himself planned the Sept. 11 attacks. Instead, the Justice Department, the Senate and two administrations were alarmed by terrorist groups like Ansar al-Islam, an al-Qaida affiliate that established bases in Iraqi Kurdistan.

More importantly, one of the masterminds of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, Abdul Rahman Yasin, fled to Baghdad to find sanctuary with Saddam after the attack. And after the U.S.'s successful war against the Taliban, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the present murderous al-Qaida leader in Iraq, reportedly escaped from Afghanistan to gain a reprieve from Saddam.

Now we can debate how strong the connection was, how involved Iraq was in 9/11, and many other issues surrounding the war -- but to claim that the connection was non-existant and that claims of a connection were lies is to stray outside of documented fact and into the world of tin-foil-wearing conspiracy theories



» All Things Beautiful links with: The Thanksgiving Gift From Al-Qaeda



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Teacher Under Investigation For Alleged Unprofessionalism

Well, that isn't the headline that appears on the article, but it is certainly much more accurate than the one that did appear on the article.

Teacher under investigation for alleged liberalism

You see, it is the teacher's unwarranted injection of his political views into his classroom materials and vocabulary assessments that are the problem, not the views themselves.

"I wish Bush would be (coherent, eschewed) for once during a speech, but there are theories that his everyday diction charms the below-average mind, hence insuring him Republican votes," said one question on a quiz written by English and social studies teacher Bret Chenkin.

The question referring to the president asked students to say whether coherent or eschewed was the proper word. The sentence would be more coherent if one eschewed eschewed.

Another example said, "It is frightening the way the extreme right has (balled, arrogated) aspects of the Constitution and warped them for their own agenda." Arrogated would be the proper word there.

Chenkin claims, of course, that the quizzes are being looked at out of context. While he may have a point, I have a difficult time imagining a context in which these items would be appropriate -- and I say that as a social studies teacher who is also a certified English teacher (though not, as many of you have noticed, a typing teacher). I suppose if one were teaching a unit on propaganda or the use of biased language it would be possible to justify such assessment items, but I'm not sure that i would be comfortable using them in my classroom.

Do I want to see Chenkin fired for this lapse in professional judgement? No, I do not. I don't think he has crossed the line far enough for that. Do I think he needs to be cautioned and reminded that there are lines beyond which a teacher should not go? Yeah, I do.

I'll be watching to see how this situation plays out.

(HAT TIP: Michelle Malkin)



» The COLOSSUS OF RHODEY links with: Not "unprofessionalism" but "liberalism"



|| Greg, 05:19 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (1) ||

Imam Ordered Deported For Terrorist Ties

The spiritual leader of Ohio's largest mosque has been detained pending deportation for his ties to Islamist terrorist organizations, including raising funds for the groups.

Imam Fawaz Damra, the spiritual leader of Ohio's largest mosque, was convicted in June 2004 of concealing ties to three groups that the U.S. government classifies as terrorist organizations when he applied for U.S. citizenship in 1994.

That conviction was upheld in March, clearing the way for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to begin deportation proceedings.

Damra, 44, was arrested early Friday without incident, the immigration office said.

"It is clear that this person, Mr. Damra, believed in terrorism, supported terrorism," said Brian Moskowitz, an agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement's office in Detroit. "This is not a man of peace or a man of God."

Unfortunately, while I agree with the characterization of Imam Damra set forth above, it appears that he is a typical man of Islam, given the fact that his mosque continues to support him.





|| Greg, 05:06 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 24, 2005

Proclamations Of Thanksgiving Past

Words from the great leaders of the past, acknowledging the need for offering thanks to God Almighty for all the good things he has given and done for this most blessed of nations, the United States of America.


George Washington -- 1789

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the provisions of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee requested me to "recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many single favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

Now therefore do I recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the Service of that great and glorious Being, who is the benificent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks, for His kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the single and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of His providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, of the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have to acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favours which He hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humble offering our prayers and supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all people, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Abraham Lincoln -- 1863

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and provoke their aggressions, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the boarders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battle-field, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our benificent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full employment and peace, harmony, tranquility and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand, and cause the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

A Happy Thanksgiving to all, as we lift up our voices in humble praise of God.





|| Greg, 11:59 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (7) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Religion Of Barbarism Targets More Kids

Thank God (the True God, not the false one worshipped by the Islamists) that these toys did not get distributed to the children of Iraq.

Baghdad - The Iraqi army said on Thursday it had seized a number of booby-trapped children's dolls, accusing insurgents of using the explosive-filled toys to target children.

The dolls were found in a car, each one containing a grenade or other explosive, said an army statement.

The government said that two men driving the car had been arrested in the western Baghdad district of Abu Ghraib.

"This is the same type of doll as that handed out on several occasions by US soldiers to children," said government spokesperson Leith Kubba.

It was not immediately clear when the find was made or the suspects arrested.

These sick Islamist pigs murdered children waiting for toys today. Now we find that they were also looking to distribute deadly ones to other children.

Should we cut and run from such a foe, or should we stay and help the Iraqi people finish the job?





|| Greg, 10:32 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (7) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Today's Religion Of Barbarism Update

Some stories need no commentary.

A suicide attacker steered a car packed with explosives toward U.S. soldiers giving away toys to children outside a hospital in central Iraq on Thursday, killing at least 31 people. Almost all of the victims were women and children, police said.

I'll let the words of one victim speak more eloquently than I can.

The suicide bomber in Mahmoudiya was targeting U.S. military vehicles parked near the hospital, said Iraqi army Capt. Ibrahim Abdeallah. He said two U.S. soldiers were wounded and one Humvee damaged.

The U.S. soldiers were distributing toys to children in the hospital, said police Maj. Falah al-Mohammedawi.

Dr. Osama Kassab of Baghdad's Yarmouk hospital said there were 23 injured and three dead at his facility. It was not clear if these were in addition to the dead and wounded cited by the doctor in Mahmoudiya.

"It was an explosion at the gate of the hospital," said one woman who had wounds on her face and legs. "My children are gone. My brother is gone."

They targeted women and children who wanted nothing more than toys.

Evil. Evil. Evil.



» The Right Nation links with: Iraq Toy Story



|| Greg, 08:02 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (1) ||

Gay Episcopal Bishop Slams Vatican

Proving once again that he worships his sexual orientation more than he worships God, New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson spoke out today against the new Vatican document regarding homosexuals and the priesthood. But what he doesn't realize is that his words support the Vatican position more than they refute it.

Robinson said there were probably many Roman Catholics like himself.

"There are plenty of gay men who have faithfully served the Roman Catholic Church, who know themselves to be gay and who are faithful to their vow of celibacy. To exclude them from the ordained ministry is a real mistake," he said.

"It appears that being celibate is not good enough."

Well, Gene, let's unpack that statement.

You cheated on your wife, dumped her and the kids, and took up with your lover, with whom you live in a relationship that you concede is not celibate. You are willing to disregard the Word of God and fracture the Anglican communion for the greater glory of Gene Robinson. That seems to me to be exactly the opposite of what a good priest should be.





|| Greg, 06:35 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Within 1000 Feet = Within 1000 Feet

We can al argue about the efficacy and necessity of the War on Drugs. Wherever one comes down on that issue, though, it is difficult to argue with the logical position taken here by a court reading the plain language of a statute.

The question before the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, was whether a man named James Robbins was guilty of selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school - which carries a longer sentence - when he was arrested in March 2002 on the corner of Eighth Avenue and 40th Street in Manhattan and charged with selling drugs to an undercover police officer.

The nearest school, Holy Cross, is on 43rd Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. How to measure? On foot, Mr. Robbins's lawyers argued, the school is more than 1,000 feet away from the site of the arrest, because the shortest route is blocked by buildings. But as the crow flies, the authorities said, it is less than 1,000 feet away.

Law enforcement officials calculated the straight-line distance using the Pythagorean theorem (a2 + b2 = c2) measuring the distance up Eighth Avenue (764 feet) as one side of a right triangle, and the distance to the church along 43rd Street (490 feet) as another, to find that the length of the hypotenuse was - 907.63 feet.

Lawyers for Mr. Robbins argued that the distance should be measured as a person would walk it because "crows do not sell drugs." But in a unanimous ruling, the seven-member Court of Appeals upheld his conviction and held that the distance in such cases should be measured as the crow flies.

"Plainly, guilt under the statute cannot depend on whether a particular building in a person's path to a school happens to be open to the public or locked at the time of a drug sale," Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye wrote in the opinion.

Mr. Robbins is currently serving a 6-to-12-year sentence.

It is rather sad that we have to adjudicate such matters as whether 1000 feet actually means 1000 feet as measured in a straight line. I wonder, though -- had Robbins prevailed, would the courts have made an even shorter distance for individuals who are so drunk or high that they cannot walk a straight line?

And I'm curious -- will the ACLU argue that imposing an enhanced penalty for drug sales within 1000 feet of Holy Cross School constitutes a violation of the Establishment Clause?





|| Greg, 03:40 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 23, 2005

T.O. Slapped Down

As long as they pay him, the Philadelphia Eagles can deactivate loud-mouthed lockerroom malcontent Terrell Owens if they feel it is in the best interests of the team. Owens has no right under the NFL collective bargaining agreement with the players to actually play football. So says the mediator in Owens' grievance case against the Eagles.

For conduct proven to be a "destructive and continuing threat" to his team, an arbitrator ruled Wednesday that the Eagles were justified in suspending their All-Pro receiver for four games — and are within their rights to deactivate him for the rest of the year.

The Eagles will now look to trade or release Owens before next March, when he's due a $5 million roster bonus.

Arbitrator Richard Bloch wrote in his 38-page decision that there was "no violation of the labor agreement inherent in the club's decision to pay Mr. Owens, but not to permit him to play or practice due to the nature of his conduct and its destructive and continuing threat to the team."

Well, T.O -- sit home and count that cash. Oh, and don't expect to get picked up for next season, especially since not even my hapless Houston Texans are willing to put up with your crap for a chance to becoem a winner. Your skills simply do not overcome your personality defects.





|| Greg, 04:40 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Bravo, Joe!

At least there is one Democrat who sees matters correctly regarding Iraq.

U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman told Iraq's prime minister Wednesday that U.S. forces will remain in Iraq until their mission is complete, despite growing unease in Congress about the progress of the conflict here.

"We cannot let extremists and terrorists, a small number, here in Iraq deprive the 27 million Iraqis of what they want which is a better freer life, safer life for themselves and their children" Lieberman said after his meeting with Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

The Connecticut Democrat, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the cost of success in Iraq would be high "but the cost for America of failure in Iraq would be catastrophic -- for America, for the Iraqi people and I believe for the world."

Exactly right, sir.

Now, if only we can get the GOP to stand firmly with this outstanding, patriotic Democrat.





|| Greg, 10:24 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Three Years Celibacy -- A Good Requirement

I've been interested in the current hub-bub about the Vatican's position on admitting homosexuals to the presthood. It isn't just because it is an interesting theological or cultural phenomenon. Rather, I am intrigued because of my own experience of having spent four years in a major seminary (graduate school), departing one year short of ordination and eventually marrying a woman I adore. As such, I am familiar with many of the questions involved.

The Vatican is ordering seminaries to bar candidates for the priesthood who "practice homosexuality," have "deeply rooted homosexual tendencies" or support "gay culture," according to a document published Tuesday by Adista, a Catholic news agency in Rome.

The long-awaited instruction to seminary directors was scheduled for official release next week. It has been the subject of numerous leaks that have sparked intense debate and led some Catholic leaders, including the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to defend the place of celibate gay priests in the church. But until Tuesday, a full text had not been published.

"The church, while deeply respecting the people in question, cannot admit to the seminary and the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture," said the five-page document, which a Vatican official said appeared to be the authentic, final version.

***

The document does not call for the removal of gay men who are already serving as priests, and it does not flatly bar the ordination of anyone who has ever acknowledged a same-sex attraction. It says men whose homosexuality is "a transitory problem" may be ordained as deacons -- a key step toward the priesthood -- if they have lived in celibacy for at least three years.

Now let's break this down.

1) There is no place in the semnary or priesthood for those sexually active homosexuals.

2) There is no place in the seminary or priesthood for those with a strong homosexual orientation.

3) There is no place in the seminary or priesthood for those who adopt lifestyle and cultural choices that seek to normalize homosexuality.

4) Those with a homosexual tendency who demnostrate the ability to live a celibate life with integrity may be ordained.

Frankly, I think the document gets it just about right. Two of the points are so basic that I don't think they can even be argued.

The first point is basic common sense. The sexually active have no place in the celibate priesthood.

The third point is equally obvious. Those attached to a philosophy or lifestyle antithetical to the teachings of the Church are not fit candidates to be pastors and teachers. Afte all, they will not be able to uphold Church teachings with integrity.

Point two, regarding theose with a strong orientation, takes a little more thought to understand. It strikes me as being something along the lines of minimizing the possibility of lapses in celibacy. Given that a seminary is an all male community and that a priest often finds himself living in a house with another priest, there are intimate non-sexual relationships that develop between these men. I'll be honest -- such bonds are necessary to preserve one's mental well-being and prevent isolation. But if there is a sexual attraction -- either solitary or mutual -- in such reliolation of celibacy OR will splinter due to the strsses the attraction causes. I have seen both happen, and the results can be tragic for those involved.

The fourth point, though, seems to be teh most important one. If a man can live the celibate life with integrity for an extended period of time, then it that man is acceptable as a candidate for priesthood. In the context of this document, we are talking about homosexual asexual activity, but I think that the rule will be applied to all candidates, regardless of orientation. After all, a priest is committing to live a celibate life for the next 30-50 years -- shouldn't he be expected to demnonstrate that he can do so for a short period before making the permananet commitment?

Now there ae some comments regarding pedophilia that i would like to take up.

"There are people on the right wing who from the beginning saw this document as a kind of magic wand that would remove the taint of the sex abuse scandal," said the Rev. John A. Coleman, a Jesuit sociologist at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. "I think that's wishful thinking -- and pretty stupid."

Actually, Father Coleman, it is you who are stupid. You are intentionally ignoring what the data show about the scandal -- that most of the cases did not involve pedophilia, which would have required that the victims be prepubescent. That data shows that many of the victims were adolescent males, which is a sign that the perpetrator was not acting upon an attraction to children but upon a sexual attraction to young men -- precisely the sort of glorification of young men as sexual objects that is found in the homosexual community (not dissimilar to the objectification of young women among heterosexual males). I realize that this is an inconvenient fact in the examination of the abuse scandal, but it is a fact.

Ultimately, I don't see this document as making a great difference. Most of the homosexual seminarians I knew (about 25% of my classmates, and a higher percentage of those who were ordained) would be acceptable under these guidelines. And the shrinking priesthood will continue to shrink as long as celibacy is retained as a Church-imposed (not divinely mandated) rule.Until the celibacy issue is thoroughly reexamined, there will continue to be a shortage of men to fill the role of priest within the Catholic Church.



» Watcher of Weasels links with: Submitted for Your Approval
» Watcher of Weasels links with: The Council Has Spoken!



|| Greg, 10:05 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (2) ||

November 22, 2005

Another Iraq Vet For Staying The Course -- Will Libs Respect Him?

No one can criticize John Murtha and his position on Iraq, according to the cut-and-run Leftists. Will they extend the same courtesy to this veteran, and kindly shut up? After all, I think he is in a better position than they are to know what to do.

A National Guard general from upstate New York responsible for securing one-quarter of Iraq for the past year said Tuesday it's not yet time to withdraw American troops, though progress has been made in turning over control to Iraqi authorities.

"I don't think a quick pullout is in the interests of anybody," Maj. Gen. Joseph Taluto said. "You've got to have a military that can secure the government."

Commander of the Troy-based 42nd Infantry Division and a task force of 24,000 U.S. troops in north-central Iraq until Nov. 1, Taluto said they helped establish 18 fully- trained and equipped Iraqi battalions and turned over 11 military operating bases to Iraqi control, including the former presidential palace in Tikrit on Tuesday.

"I think it's possible we can see troop reductions in 2006 based on what I see," Taluto said. "It has been on our watch incrementally getting better all the time."

The task force included about 3,500 members of the 42nd, about 400 from the greater Albany area, with the last few planeloads slated to return shortly. Maj. Richard Goldenberg said their area in Iraq comprised about 27,000 square miles, about half the size of New York state. It included Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish areas and about 40 percent of the country's oil fields.

Yeah, I think the commander of a major theater of operations would be in a position to comment about the appropriate policy on troop deployment. General Taluto says to stay. Let's respect his service and that of his troops by making sure that the mission is completed and that the American military leaves with honor.





|| Greg, 08:59 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (20) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

MoveOn.Org Disrespects Vets Who Disagree With Murtha

Looks like the hate-America-firsters of MoveOn.Org are out to take down Congressmen who disagree with them.

At least two of those attacked are veterans.

And here I thought we were supposed to honor our veterans and their service, and not question their position on the Iraq war.

The MoveOn.org ads are scheduled to begin airing nationally Thanksgiving Day. Local ads targeted to the individual congressmen will run on cable systems in each of the lawmakers' home districts a few days later, said Tom Matzzie, MoveOn.org's Washington director.

Last Thursday, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., called for an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. The next day, the Republican-controlled House hastily arranged for a vote on Murtha's resolution. Democrats accused Republicans of orchestrating a political stunt that prohibited thoughtful debate on the issue, and nearly all voted against the measure. The final tally was 403 against Murtha's resolution and three in favor of it.

So it seems that the representatives are all within the mainstream -- even Murtha voted for the resolution -- but MoveOn.Org will not show other veterans the same respect they demand for the cut-and-run congressman from Pennsylvania.

It seems like it is high time for the American people to tell MoveOn to EffOff.





|| Greg, 08:48 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (8) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Religion Of Barbarism Update

Just to remind folks about the "high value" placed upon women by Islam under sharia law, I link you to this story. Women are nothing more than a commodity, to be turned over unwilling to satisfy family feuds, and to be raped or murdered if they refuse to cooperate.

A village council in Pakistan has decreed that five young women should be abducted, raped or killed for refusing to honour childhood "marriages".

The women, who are cousins, were married in absentia by a mullah in their Punjabi village to illiterate sons of their family's enemies in 1996, when they were aged from six to 13.

The marriages were part of a compensation agreement ordered by the village council and reached at gunpoint after the father of one of the girls shot dead a family rival.

The rival families have now called in their "debt", demanding the marriages to the village men are fulfilled.

The case is becoming a cause célèbre in Pakistan, pitting tribal mores against a group of modern-minded, educated women. Amna Niazi, the eldest of the five at 22, is taking a degree in English literature, while both her sisters want to attend university.

Their fathers are supporting them and have refused to hand them over, leading to a resumption of the blood feud, with two relatives shot recently and 20 people arrested, while promises of further retribution and murder abound.

In addition to the sentence on the women, the village council has sentenced to death Jehan Khan Niazi, the father of three of the women, and the fathers of the other two for failing to honour the supposed bond with men whose identities they are not even certain of.

The women have said they will commit suicide if their fathers obey the council.

That such abuse of fundamental human dignity is countenanced under Islamic law is disgusting. That the Pakistani government still fails to take strong action to end such attrocities is even worse.

Is it necessary for the civilized nations of the world to forcibly suppress Islam and its barbarous customs in order to ensure basic human rights for half of the human race?





|| Greg, 08:25 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Vote On Withdrawal May Become Regular Event.

Talk is cheap, so make those who speak against the war take a stand by voting on continuation or withdrawal. That is the strategy of Rep J.D. Heyworth (R-AZ) in response to folks like John Murtha and Dennis Kucinich, who call continue to seek an immediate pull-out of US troops from Iraq.

"If they start this again, we'll call the vote again," said Rep. J.D. Hayworth, Arizona Republican, whom members credited with suggesting holding a vote. "As far as I'm concerned, if they haven't learned from this, if they go back to this cheap talk, I would be more than happy to call for another vote."

I don't see any problem here. If opposed to the war, they should have no problem with making a vote consistent with their words -- especially if, as they claim, the American people are with them.





|| Greg, 03:12 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Dirty Bomber Indicted

Well, now the Left gets what it claimed it had wanted -- the indictment of Jose Padilla and the transfer of his case to full civilian control.

Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen held without charges for more than three years on suspicion of plotting a "dirty bomb" attack in this country, has been indicted on three counts alleging he conspired to "murder, maim and kidnap" people overseas.

The indictment naming Padilla and four others was unsealed Tuesday after being returned last week by a federal grand jury in Miami. While the charges allege Padilla was part of a U.S.-based terrorism conspiracy, they do not include the government's earlier allegations that he planned to carry out attacks in America.

"The indictment alleges that Padilla traveled overseas to train as a terrorist with the intention of fighting a violent jihad," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said at a news conference. Gonzales declined to comment on why none of the allegations involving attacks in America were included in the indictment.

I'm not surprosed by the lack of charges about plans to carry out an attack in the US. Making the information involved public would most certainly result in the disclosure of intelligence sources that are still useful. Better to put this Islamist pig away for a long time without burning a useful intelligence asset than to go "whole hog" when it would be detrimental to national security. As it is, three of the charges carry a potential life sentence -- one count each of conspiracy to murder, maim and kidnap people overseas, providing material support to terrorists and conspiracy.

According to the indictment, Padilla traveled overseas to receive violent jihad training and to fight violent jihad from October 1993 to November 2001. On July 24, 2000, Padilla allegedly filled out a "Mujahideen Data Form" in preparation for violent jihad training in Afghanistan and reportedly was seen in that country in October 2000.

A "Mujahadeen Data Form"? Am I the only one here who has a vision of burqa-clad women in a mud hut doing data-entry work?

The charges against him and four others allege they were part of a North American support cell that sent money, assets and recruits overseas "for the purpose of fighting violent jihad." The indictment mentions Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Egypt and Bosnia, but makes no allegations of specific attacks anywhere.

The others indicted are: Adham Amin Hassoun a Lebanese-born Palestinian who lived in Broward County, Fla.;, Mohammed Hesham Youssef, an Egyptian who lived in Broward County; Kifah Wael Jayyousi, a Jordanian national and U.S. citizen who lived in San Diego; and Kassem Daher, a Lebanese citizen with Canadian residency status.

Notice, friends, that we once again have a south Florida connection to terrorism -- where it is easy to flee the jurisdiction.. One of those indicted lived in San Diego, not far from the pourousborder with Mexico. Tow of the accused are in sustody in the US, while Youssef is in prison in Egypt and Daher is in Lebanon.

I wonder how long it is going to be before Left-wing supporters of the enemies of America demand the release of Padilla and his con-conspiritors on bail and the dismissal of all charges.





|| Greg, 02:52 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Greenie-Weenies Never Satisfied

They wanted the world to increase the use of bio-fuels, which are replenishable and pollute less. The Kyoto agreement includes compliance with their demands, and world governments are out to increase the use of this resource.

Now the radical environmentalists are changing their minds -- claiming that their favored "environmentally friendly" energy source is not so friendly to the environment after all.

An alternative fuel source once considered more Earth-friendly than petroleum is now being derided by some environmentalists and farming experts for allegedly hastening the destruction of the world's rainforests.

Bio-fuels, fuel made from corn, sugar cane or vegetable oil, can be used to power up everything from sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to diesel engines. Yet in spite of its reputation as a viable alternative to petroleum, this alternative fuel has prompted some environmental groups to point to the potential for environmental damage.

The British government, hard pressed to meet emission restrictions laid out by the greenhouse gas limiting Kyoto Protocol, is being criticized by the environmental group Friends of the Earth (FOE) for proposing to force oil companies to include bio-fuels in five percent of their gas and diesel fuels by 2010.

FOE is concerned that increased production of bio-fuels will cause the destruction of the world's rainforests.

"We live in a global marketplace and the worry is that some of these fuels will be imported," said Roger Higman of FOE, according to the UK Telegraph on Nov. 11. Higman is concerned that much more land will be needed to grow the crops necessary to produce bio-fuels and in turn increase deforestation.

"It could be genetically modified crops or palm oil from freshly cleared rainforests. There is also a concern that British farmers could flatten the countryside in order to grow bio-fuels," Higman added.

Now let me get this straight -- you want bio-fuels, but you don't want an increase in agricultural production to produce them. How did you think we were going to get them in the first place?

I wonder -- how much energy could be produced and how many acres of rainforest could be saved by using environmentalists as a source for bio-fuel?





|| Greg, 02:50 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

An Act Of War?

What else can you call it when something like this happens?

A marijuana-laden dump truck got stuck in the Rio Grande between Texas and Mexico until men who looked like Mexican troops yanked the truck into Mexico, according to authorities.

Hudspeth County Chief Deputy Mike Doyal told the El Paso Times: "Everyone had the presence of mind not to cause an international incident or start shooting."

Excuse me?

Mexican troops?

Thursday evening, Border Patrol agents tried to stop the dump truck on Interstate 10, sheriff's officials said. The truck fled to Mexico in the Neely's Crossing area.

The truck got stuck in the riverbed, and the driver took off running. Doyal said the driver returned with armed men, including men who arrived in official-looking vehicles with overhead lights and what appeared to be Mexican soldiers in uniform and with military-style rifles.

Helping the drug smugglers avoid detention by rescuing them from American terrirory?

The standoff ended when the "soldiers" used a bulldozer to pull the dump truck into Mexico, sheriff's department officials said.

This damned well should have turned into a shooting incident! There should have been a whole mess of dead Mexicans "soldiers" when they did not stand down and permit the apprehensions of criminals on American soil. Wanna bet that we would likely see a serious decrease in border incidents involving mexican military and law enforcement personnel?

When, oh when, are we going to simply point our troops south and stop the violations of American sovereignty and security that come from Mexico every day?

HAT TIP: Blognomicon and The War On Guns.





|| Greg, 01:01 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 21, 2005

Little Buddha?

This is fascinating.

wbuddha21.jpg

Thousands of pilgrims are pouring into the dense jungle of southern Nepal to worship a 15-year-old boy who has been hailed as a new Buddha.

Devotees claim that Ram Bomjon, who is silently meditating beneath a tree, has not eaten or drunk anything since he sat down at his chosen spot six months ago.

Witnesses say they have seen light emanating from the teenager's forehead.

"It looks a bit like when you shine a torch through your hand," said Tek Bahadur Lama, a member of the committee responsible for dealing with the growing number of visitors from India and elsewhere in Nepal.

He has not moved from his spot in six months, has taken no nourishment, and has survived a snakebite.

He sks, though, that he not be called a Buddha.

After five days it was opened and he spoke. "Tell the people not to call me a Buddha. I don't have the Buddha's energy. I am at the level of rinpoche [lesser divinity].

"A snake bit me but I do not need treatment. I need six years of deep meditation."

Yes, fascinating indeed.





|| Greg, 08:41 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Will Libs Respect THIS Veteran?

Somehow I doubt that the Left, having conferred infallibility upon John Murtha for his service, will be willing to give the same level of respect to another hero in their midst -- 29-year Air Force veteran and former POW Sam Johnson.

Somehow I doubt it. After all, he is a Texan, a Republican, and a supporter of the war in Iraq.

“Pulling our troops out of Iraq now is unconscionable and irresponsible.

“We’ve got to support our troops to the hilt and see this mission through.

“I bet Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is high-fiving his buddies and praising Allah after hearing these news reports. Immediate withdrawal- and the conflict sparked by this debate - is just what al-Zarqawi wants.

“I was just in Iraq and our troops told me that they are motivated to spread democracy. They’re fighting for freedom and they mean business.

“We need to get the job done in support of freedom and to eliminate Al-Qaeda terrorists around the world.

“In case people have forgotten, this is the same thing that happened in Vietnam. Peaceniks and people in Congress – and America - started saying bad things about what was going on over there. Let me tell you what it did for troop morale. It’s a real downer.

“I just pray our troops and their families can block this noise out and know that I will fight like mad to make sure our troops have everything they need - for as long as they need - to win the global war on terrorism.”

John Murtha does not speak for all American veterans -- not even a majority of them, based upon my experience. As I pointed out earlier, he does not speak for the men and women serving in Iraq today, or those who have recently returned.

Bravo, Congressman Johnson.

HAT TIP: Generation Why? and Blogs for Bush.



» Super Fun Power Hour links with: John Kerry, Shut the F*ck Up!
» The Centre of the Universe links with: John Kerry, Shut the F*ck Up!



|| Greg, 07:52 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (2) ||

Hey Dems! Do These Vets Count?

Rep. John Murtha continues his campaign of advocacy for a cut-and -run strategy in Iraq.

Staying the course in Iraq is not an option or a policy. I believe we must begin discussions for an immediate re-deployment of U.S. forces from Iraq. I believe it can be accomplished in as little as six months, but it must be consistent with the safety of U.S. troops.

Democrats tell us that we cannot question his motives or proposal because he is a veteran and a war hero.

I mean if a three-decades-out-of-uniform partisan hack like Murtha must be given respect becasue of his service, shouldn't the opinions of those coming back from Iraq be worth infinitely more?

While Democrats and Republicans disagree whether American troops should be pulled immediately from Iraq, several returning soldiers from the New York Army National Guard's 29th Personnel Services Detachment on Saturday agree: Continue the mission.

After stepping off the red, white and blue bus that brought them back -- soaking in their first moments with friends and family -- some of the 15 soldiers talked about their support of the war.

Yeah, you read that right -- soldiers returning from Iraq expressing support for the war. Not congresscritters like Rep. Murtha (whose three decades in Congress have earned him solid credentials as an REMF) demanding a repeat of the great skee-daddle from Saigon, and not folks who have been spoon-fed bad news by the liberally biased folks inthe mainstream media.

What do these serving heroes, fresh back from a year of active duty that included service in Iraq, have to say about the war?

Well, there is this opinion.

"I think that if we left now, it wouldn't be a good idea because there's so much left to be done," said Guard member Sarah Spicci, of Mayfield.

And there is this from a soldier who was a sceptic before his deployment.

When Spec. Jason Alexis headed overseas, he wasn't entirely sure why so many people needed to go.

The University at Albany senior from Brooklyn changed his mind once he arrived, though.

"We are really doing a lot of good," Alexis said. Soldiers are helping the country get back on its feet, he said.

And then there is this little tidbit from a soldier who is a member of a family of soldiers.

Sgt. Scott Diange was greeted by a contingent that included his father, who wore a T-shirt with photos of four generations of Diange men -- three of whom have gone to war, and one, Scott's son, who's not yet old enough to go.

He had a message for the civilians back here.

"Keep supporting us," Diange said. "It's going to go on for a long time. I think we're doing good. We should stay over there until the job's done."

Those are good words.

Did you get the message, Americans? "Keep supporting us."

Do you understand that, impatient advocates of withdrawal? "It's going to go on for a long time."

Democrats, are you listening? "I think we're doing good."

John Murtha, heed this message from a soldier fighting THIS war. "We should stay over there until the job's done."

Sgt. Scott Diange -- you have my support, and the support of all patriotic Americans. Let's work to convince the rest.

LINKING TO OPEN TRACKBACK: Stop The ACLU





|| Greg, 09:03 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

The winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Let's Discuss Bush Derangement Syndrome Again by Dr. Sanity, and Attention GOP Leadership: by The Anchoress.  The link to both winning entries can be found here.

Also, if you are looking for a nomination, see this post for the Watcher's weekly offer of link whorage.





|| Greg, 08:28 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 20, 2005

Taking Down Rabid Islamist Swine

Or at least those are the reports coming out of Iraq.

MOSUL, Iraq (AP) - U.S. and Iraqi forces raided a farmhouse in northern Iraq at dawn Saturday, searching for suspected members of al-Qaida in Iraq. Eight insurgents and four Iraqi policemen were killed, officials said.

Brig. Said Ahmed al-Jubouri, the spokesman for the Mosul police, said Iraqi police and U.S. soldiers surrounded a house in the al-Sukar neighborhood of Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad.

A fierce gunfight erupted and three of the insurgents detonated explosives, killing themselves. Five more died fighting, while four police officers were also killed, he added.

Al-Jubouri said officials were attempting to identify the dead insurgents.

Nineva province Governor Duraid Kashmola confirmed the report, adding that one woman was among the dead insurgents.

U.S. officials in the area were not immediately available for comment.

Sounds like good news so far.

But it gets better.

Arch terrorists and al-Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi may have been killed, Arab press have reported.

According to reports, American and Iraqi forces are currently checking whether al-Zarqawi's body can be found among the bodies of other al-Qaeda members that blew themselves up at a house that was besieged by the forces at the northern town of Musul. (Ali Waked)

At least those are the reports from Arab sources Elaph and al-Mada, according to Iraq the Model and No End but Victory.

The Jerusalem Post also notes the reports.

The Elaph Arab media website reported on Sunday that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of the al-Qaida in Iraq terror group, may have been killed in Iraq on Sunday afternoon when eight terrorists blew themselves up in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The unconfirmed report claimed that the explosions occurred while coalition forces surrounded the house in which al-Zarqawi was hiding. American and Iraqi forces are looking into the report.

American sources neither confirm nor deny the report -- but do seem to hint at the possibility.

In Washington, a U.S. official said the identities of the terror suspects killed was unknown. Asked if they could include al-Zarqawi, the official replied: "There are efforts under way to determine if he was killed."

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

In other words, this may be it. The terrorist leader behind so much of the violence in iraq may be in Hell, roasting on a pit with an apple firmly clenched between his teeth -- a fit eternity for such an Islamist pig.

Hat Tip to Michelle Malkin and Mudville Gazette.

UPDATE: This update from the Washington Post has bad news (al-Zarqawi likely was not killed) and good some good news (imams and sheiks are cooperating in tracking the terrorist leader).

U.S. military officials believe it is possible that Zarqawi was killed in the raid but will not know with certainty until DNA tests are run, said a U.S. military intelligence official involved in Iraqi issues.

There is a "30 percent" chance that one of the bodies is Zarqawi's, he said. But he warned: "We've had dry holes before."

Over the past month, the official said, there has been a series of raids following a surge in tips from Iraqis unhappy with Zarqawi and his operation. These tend to be traditional Iraqi leaders -- sheiks and imams -- upset with the organization, especially its recent execution of Sunni Arabs in Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar. "Their feeling is that al Qaeda in Iraq has overstepped its bounds," he said.

Could this be a sign of the waning of the insurgency, right at the time that liberals want to retreat from the field in disgrace?

UPDATE 2: The Counterterrorism Blog is suggesting that reports of al-Zarqawi's death are greatly exagerated.

UPDATE 3: MSNBC reports that troops just missed capturing al-Zarqawi.



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|| Greg, 03:18 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (1) ||

Michelle Loves Jesse -- But Writes Her Own Stuff

Michelle Malkin, the multi-talented columnist and blogger whose beauty puts every other conservative pundit to shame, writes today about those racist/sexist/leftist commenters who have been waging an attack upon her and her husband, Jesse.

As I've noted in several newspaper profiles and television interviews, I met my husband in college, where he founded a right-of-center student publication that I wrote for and edited. He started off as a Berkeley-born Dukakis liberal; I was a congenital conservative who helped him see the light. We have been each other's best friend, editor, and sounding board for nearly half of our lives. He followed me to Southern California when I took my first newspaper gig in Los Angeles. He followed me up to the Pacific Northwest when I was hired by the Seattle Times. I followed him to Washington D.C. when he got a lucrative health-care consulting job. And when my career took off after I published my first book in 2002, he cut back on his own ambitions to be with our kids.

In his spare time (such as it is with an active kindergartener and an Energizer bunny preschooler), he helps me out when he can. Al Franken needs a dozen, overpaid Harvard-trained research assistants. I have my hubby's help for a few hours a week.

In other words, the Malkins are a couple who are very much in love with one another and who have put her successful career ahead of his so that their daughter can have one full-time parent.

SO what is the problem? Well, it seems that those on the Left do not thik an Asian woman could possibly be smart enough to independently formulate conservative views -- and that since Jesse Malkin is also a writer (focus on healt care issues, as I understand it), he must have some sort of influence and control over his wife.

Michelle does concede that ther eis influence -- but an influence based upon intellectual equality, not the domination of a husband over his wife.

As for my husband's "influence," why yes, he influences me all the time and vice versa. Spouses tend to do that to each other over the years. When I came up with my idea for Invasion after 9/11, he was skeptical. We don't agree on everything, but I've pulled him to the right on national security, the Second Amendment, and some social issues. He has put up with my insomniac writing habits, investigative obsessions, and workaholism for more than a dozen years, and I have successfully converted him to the conservative cause.

In other words, it sounds like a lovely marriage. It is the sort of relationship we should encourage and envy in this country, not one to be denigrated and destroyed.

Michelle makes a plea from the heart to her liberal critics, one which should be respected if these alleged opponents of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and the politics of personal destruction should respect if they are sincere in their beliefs (I doubt they are, thought they talk a good game).

The racist and sexist "yellow woman doing a white man's job" knock is a tiresome old attack from impotent liberals that I've tolerated a long time. It is pathetic that I have to sit here and tell you that my ideas, my politics, and my intellectual capital are mine and mine alone in response to cowardly attacks from misogynistic moonbats with Asian whore fixations. My IQ, free will, skin color, eye shape, productivity, sincerity, and integrity are routinely ridiculed or questioned because I happen to be a minority conservative woman. As a public figure, I am willing to take these insults, but I cannot tolerate the smearing of my loved ones. Because I have always been open and proud about his support for my career, my husband has taken endless, hate-filled abuse from my critics. His Jewish heritage, his decision to be a stay-at-home dad, and even his looks, are the subject of brutal mockery.

Enough.

If you have a problem with my work and what I stand for, go ahead and take me on. Keep calling me whatever four-letter-word makes you feel better when you can't win your arguments. But leave my family alone.

In other words, folks, if you want to combat her in the marketplace of ideas, have at it. If you are a lowlife scumbag who feels the need to engage in misogynistic race-baiting, do so if you must. But attacks and assualts on family are the province of intellectually deficient moral degenerates, and ae always to be condemned.

And if I may say, great picture. I think the t-shirt says it all.

1119mma.jpg

God bless you Michelle, and your beloved Jesse -- and your adorable little daughter as well.






|| Greg, 03:10 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (7) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Blue Law Insanity In Massachusetts

I've never been a fan of "blue laws", which restrict business activities on certain days with an ostensibly religious significance.

Originally implemented to force folks to keep the Christian Sabbath, they interfere with the legitimate rights of those of other faiths (and no faith at all) to engage in commerce as they see fit -- and provides no equivalent protection for those whose Sabbath and other holy days fall outside of those of the Christian religion.

More to the point, they needlessly restrict the economic activities of Americans on their non-work days. After all, who is harmed if I purchase a car on Sunday?

Massachusetts has done away with most of its blue laws -- but among the exceptions is the one requiring that stores close on Christmas, New Years Day, and Thanksgiving.

One grocer, Whole Foods (which specializes in natural and organic foods), planned to open its 14 Massachusetts stores for Thanksgiving. A compettitor, Shaws Supermarkets, with over 200 Massachusetts stores, complained to the state and have brought the jackboot of the state authority down upon Whole Foods to force the closure of their much smaller competitor, which had sought and received permits from local authorities to open on the holiday.

What was the basis of thier complaint?

"We believe that allowing Whole Foods to open on Thanksgiving Day will create an unlevel playing field for all other retail grocers," Shaw's legal department wrote to Reilly on Nov. 4. "Besides disadvantaging competitors, a Whole Foods opening would harm consumers, due to lack of choice in the marketplace for consumers to shop and compare prices for the best deal."

I have two reactions.

1) What would have kept you from seeking a similar exemption?

2) Do you really believe that it is a greater harm to consumers to have a single choice on Thanksgiving than for them to have zero choices?

Not, of course, that Massachusetts consumers will be without recourse on Thanksgiving. Gas stations and convenience stores will be open under an exemption written into the blue law. I wonder if Shaws in Massachusetts has done like Krogers has here in Texas and Albertsons has done in other parts of the country -- opened up convenience stores and gas stations on their lots, which would allow them to sell all those Thanksgiving needs without competition from Whole Foods. And, of course, whatever convenience store or gas station they go to will have a smaller selection of goods at much higher prices than they would have paid at Whole Foods -- certainly a wonderful benefit of this state "protection" of the consumer. Not to mention that the available selections will not include the preferred organic and natural food selections of Whole Foods shoppers.

The state is offering a different justification for its actions.

A letter to Whole Foods from Reilly's fair labor and business practices division said, "Generally, the performance of work on legal holidays is prohibited unless permitted by a statutory exemption." The letter noted Reilly has the power to bring criminal charges against anyone who violates the state's blue laws.

Nick Messuri, chief of Reilly's business and labor protection bureau, said the blue laws sound archaic, but they protect workers from pressure to give up their holidays.

Whole Foods responds that no worker would have been forced to work on the holiday, and that they would have received double-time for the holiday shift -- a bargain I certainly would be glad to make (and generally did when I worked for an hourly wage).

But everyone here is protected by state regulation. Consumers are protected from being able to buy the items they need at the store they want. Workers are protected from choosing to make twice their hourly wage while still having plenty of time to mark the holiday. And Shaws is protected from their tiny, specialized competitor earning a little bit of good will from the public.

Thank God for the jackboot power of government protecting us from the invisible hand of capitalism!

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|| Greg, 11:45 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (2) ||

November 19, 2005

National Adoption Day

I’ve spoken elsewhere about the heartbreak Paula and I went through early in our marriage when we were unable to have children, and the frustrations of being unable to adopt – and the health situations that prevent either today. I will not recount them again today.

I will encourage people to note that Saturday, November 19 is National Adoption Day.

If there is room in your heart and home, consider adding one or more of the children seeking “forever families” into yours.





|| Greg, 11:59 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 18, 2005

Where Is The Outrage Over Harold Ford?

Since the Left seems so upset about Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) daring to quote a serving member of the US military's reaction to Rep. John Murtha's(D-PA) "Surrender Now" approach to Iraq, why is there not at least equivalent outrage over the violent actions of Rep. Harold Ford (D -TN)?

Ms. Schmidt withdrew her words, but not before Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr., Tennessee Democrat, seemed to be headed for a fight with Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican. Mr. Tancredo afterward said he had been arguing with another Democrat over some of the charges Democrats had hurled at Republicans during yesterday morning's budget vote, and said Mr. Ford must have thought the argument was about Mr. Murtha.

"Say it to Murtha," Mr. Ford repeatedly shouted at Mr. Tancredo while he was being restrained by other members. Mr. Tancredo said he replied he wasn't talking about Mr. Murtha and told Mr. Ford to go sit down.

Yeah, you read that right.

Harold Ford attempted to make an unprovoked sneak attack upon Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) on the floor of the House of Representatives. This is not a question of whether the words wre appropriate -- this is the takes one back to the cowardly assault upon Republican Senator Charles Sumner by Democrat Congressman Preston Brooks. No doubt he sought to recreate a scene of Democrat glory like is pictured below -- the assault and attempted murder of an elected member of the legislative branch over a perceived insult in a speech.

Preston_Brooks_cartoon.jpg

It appears that Ford, therefore, while unwilling to stand up to the enemies of America, is more than prepared to adopt the methods of the Empire of Japan or al-Qaeda to subdue his unwarned and unwary opponents. Indeed, he has so long been immersed in the fetid fever swamp that is the Democrat Party that he would gladly ape the behavior the supporters of slavery visited upon the friends of freedom.

I urge the House to House of Representatives to take action against the tmember who most truly violated the decorum of the House of Representatives -- Harold Ford must be censured or expelled for his actions this evening.

UPDATE: Decided to do a bit of PhotoShop work on the period depiction of the assault on Sumner.

fordcartoon.jpg

Also, additional commentary is found at Booker Rising and The Pesky Fly, Is It Just Me, and ReidBlog.

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|| Greg, 11:41 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (69) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Not A First Amendment Violation????????

I guess I don't see how this can be anything other than a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution -- and of the relevant sections of the New York Constitution as well.

A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a Staten Island clergyman who claimed his civil rights were violated when two billboards he ordered denouncing homosexuality were ordered covered up.

It was the second time that the Rev. Kristopher Okwedy has had his case dismissed. After Judge Nina Gershon originally threw out the case in 2003, Okwedy went to a state Appeals Court which ordered the case revisited.

This week Gershon again dismissed the case.

Okwedy was attempting to sue former Borough President Guy V. Molinari and PNE Media of violating his First Amendment rights when Molinair ordered the removal of two billboards.

Okwedy had paid PNE $2,500 for two signs that quoted biblical passages condemning homosexuality.

Molinari said at the time that the billboards violated the city's human rights ordinance protecting gays from discrimination and that he feared the billboards would inspire anti-gay violence. PNE complied.

Judge Gershon ruled that Okwedy had failed to prove that the human rights law was unconstitutional as applied to him because it collided with his religious and free speech rights.

Hold on.

A government official, acting under color of law, ordered that the religiously based speech of an American citizen be suppressed on the basis of a local ordinance and vague, unsubstantiated fears of possible violence?

Have freedom of speech and freedom of religion been eviscerated in this country because of the hyper-sensitivity and political clout of the sodomy lobby?

And if so-called "human rights ordinances" require the suppression of those freedoms, is it not entirely appropriate to refer to such measures as conferring "special rights" upon homosexuals while conferring second class citizenship upon those who fail to accept the "gay is OK" mantra of the Left?


Oh, and for those who have always said that such measures are no threat to freedom of religion, and that quoting Scripture could never be deemed to be a violation of any law in this country, think again. This is the billboard in question.

billboard.gif

The suppressed material was almost exclusively a quote from the Book of Leviticus -- sacred to both Christians and Jews. Have religious believers really been stripped of their civil liberties in America?


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|| Greg, 08:03 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (1) ||

Democrats Silence Marine's Voice

In a disgraceful move this evening, the House Democrats forced the withdrawal of remarks by Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), the least senior member of the body.

Her offense?

Quoting a constituent in her speech -- a Marine colonel.

The fiery, emotional debate climaxed when Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, the most junior member of the House, told of a phone call she received from a Marine colonel.

"He asked me to send Congress a message _ stay the course. He also asked me to send U.S. Rep. Murtha a message _ that cowards cut and run, Marines never do," Schmidt said.

The Political Teen has video of the speech.

Ultimately, Schmidt was compelled to withdraw her remarks so that the obstructionist Democrats would allow The People's business to be conducted.

This is not atypical of the Democrats and their contempt for those who serve in uniform.

In 2000, they did their damnedest to make sure their voices were silenced by getting their votes thrown out in Florida.

Today they prevent the words of a Marine from being quoted on the House floor during a debate on the conduct of the war in Iraq.

The Democrat Party's message to our men and women in uniform remains loud and clear -- "Shut up! You and your opinions do not matter to us."

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|| Greg, 06:59 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (90) || Comments || TrackBacks (1) ||

My New Hero -- Col. James Brown

I suppose Re. Jophn Murtha doesn't really care about the views of those actually serving in Iraq, but one of them had the integrity to stand up and say what he thinks of Murtha's proposed cut-and-run policy.

"Here on the ground, our job is not done," said Col. James Brown, commander of the 56th Brigade Combat Team, when asked about Murtha's comments during a weekly briefing that American field commanders routinely give to Pentagon reporters.

Speaking from a U.S. logistics base at Balad, north of Baghdad, two days before his scheduled return to Texas, Brown said: "We have to finish the job that we began here. It's important for the security of this nation."

I'll take one of our serving soldiers over bloated and bloviating politician any day. Sit down, Congressman, and do not disgrace yourself or the Marine Corps any longer. Show a little faith in the men and women still serving, instead of presuming that they are no match for the Islamist swine who murder the innocent like cowards.

And Col. Brown, email me if you ever make it to Houston -- I want to buy you a drink. The email address is over on the sidebar.





|| Greg, 06:31 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Why The US Must Fight On

No doubt encouraged by the speeches of James Murtha, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and other “Surrender Now” Democrats, al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists today murdered nearly 100 Iraqis in attacks on a hotel where foreign journalists stay and two mosques.

Suicide bombers killed at least 90 worshipers Friday inside two Shiite Muslim mosques northeast of the capital near the Iranian border, and a pair of car bombs outside a Baghdad hotel that houses foreign journalists destroyed a nearby apartment building and left several more people dead.

In Khanaqin, a mixed Shiite and Kurdish town 80 miles northeast of Baghdad, attackers wearing suicide belts walked into the two mosques and lined up among worshipers gathered for Friday prayers, then detonated their explosives as the imams at both mosques delivered their sermons. In addition to the 90 dead at the mosques, at least 75 worshipers were injured, said Ibrahim Hassan Bajillan, head of the local governing council in Diyala province.

The explosions collapsed the roofs of the Sheikh Murad Mosque and the larger Khanaqin Grand Mosque. Residents rushed to the scenes to search the rubble for victims. But after darkness fell, searchers called off the hunt for bodies for the night. Police said the toll is likely to rise after the search for victims resumes Saturday.

Shiite mosques are a frequent target of attackers in Iraq. Earlier this month, at least 29 people were killed in an attack on a mosque in Musayyib, south of Baghdad. The insurgency in Iraq is led by Sunni Muslims, the most radical of whom regard Shiites as heretics and accuse them of collaborating with U.S. forces.
In the capital, suicide attackers exploded two vehicles loaded with bombs outside the Hamra Hotel early Friday, collapsing at least one neighboring apartment block and shearing off walls around sleeping families.

The back-to-back Baghdad blasts killed at least six and wounded more than 41, police said. At least two children were among the dead, police said. There were no immediate reports of foreign casualties.

These killers enter into houses of prayer and murder worshippers. They gladly murder non-combatants. We must stand side-by-side with the freedom-loving Iraqi people and defend them, not engage in another Democrat-led Vietnam-style abandonment of a nation to the forces of violence and oppression.





|| Greg, 06:02 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Partisan Whore And Disgrace The Corps

What else can you call it when a Marine urges that the United States surrender to the rag-tag terrorists because he doubts the ability of the American military to defeat them?

"Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency," [Congressman John] Murtha said in a Capitol news conference that left him in tears. Islamic insurgents "are united against U.S. forces, and we have become a catalyst for violence," he said. ". . . It's time to bring them home."

How else can you interpret that except as a statement that US troops are no match for the forces of Islamist terror and a call to cut-and-run in shame? What else is this except a call to abandon the Iraqi people who we liberated from Saddam so that the forces of al-Zaqawi and bin Laden can take over and oppress them with their “back to the seventh century” creed?

In addition, it is clear that Murtha implicitly called for the destruction of civilian control of the military when his position was challenged by the elected representatives of the American people.

Murtha, asked about the comments, replied sarcastically: "I like guys who got five deferments and [have] never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done." Cheney did not serve in the military, and Bush was an Air National Guardsman who did not leave the United States during the Vietnam War.

Apparently Murtha has a problem with those elected by the American people running the military. He seems to say that only those who have seen combat should be permitted to speak or have opinions on military matters. In short, it appears that he is seeking a military dictatorship antithetical to the system established by our Founding Fathers. I doubt he actually believes this -- but since when has the mere fact that ones words or policies would undermine the US Constitution ever stopped a Democrat from doing what is politically expedient?

And I wonder – when did Murtha speak out against Clinton’s troop deployments? I would bet that the answer is “Never”.

Could it be that Murtha is something significantly less than a patriot speaking his conscience? Might it be that he is simply a partisan whore and a disgrace to the Corps?





|| Greg, 05:58 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Maryland Makes Energy More Expensive And More Scarce

Just what Marylanders need during this time of increasing energy costs – higher prices and shorter supply.

Under the clean-air plan, three power plants in Montgomery County and Southern Maryland owned by Mirant Corp. and three in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties owned by Constellation Energy Group will have to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and mercury. The companies no longer will be permitted to purchase credits that enable them to bypass those standards.

Ehrlich said the new regulations come "with a serious price tag" for the two companies, estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Constellation released a statement yesterday saying that could mean higher electric bills for Maryland customers. A spokesman for Atlanta-based Mirant said officials there were studying the proposal.

Interestingly enough, none of the environmentalists quoted seem interested in making it possible for new power plants to be built. The result of this will be shortages in supply as the plants are forced to cut back on production, and higher costs as the companies must expend money to make the plants meet the standards and/or buy on the spot-market.





|| Greg, 05:54 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

More Persecution Of Chinese Catholics

In the run-up to the visit of President Bush, the Red Chinese have arrested and imprisoned more of those who minister to God’s people.

Chinese authorities have arrested a priest and 10 seminarians from that nation's underground Roman Catholic Church, a Vatican-affiliated news agency said Friday.

President Bush, who is due to visit China as part of an eight-day trip to Asia, called on China's leadership this week to give the public more religious freedom and other liberties.

The Rev. Yang Jianwei and the seminarians were detained Nov. 12 in Xushui City in Hebei province, a traditional stronghold of Catholic sentiment in northern China, AsiaNews reported.

Six of the seminarians were released later, but Yang and the four others remain in police custody, it said.

Calls to local police seeking confirmation of the report went unanswered late Friday.

What will it take to get the world to speak out against the continued violation of human rights by the atheistic Communist regime in Beijing?





|| Greg, 05:53 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Liberal Intolerance Towards Those Who Serve

I think that one of their own, on the receiving end of this intolerance, puts it best.

Service is an everyday thing; it means that an individual regularly sacrifices for the good of the whole. Sometimes that sacrifice is trivial (maybe I would like to wear bigger pearl earrings with those Class As, but I don't) and sometimes it is serious, such as complying with the regulations that govern political activity among Army Officers. In both situations, soldiers forgo a privilege in the name of a bigger purpose--serving their fellow citizens.

I never ask that my fellow liberals agree with me, just that they respect my sense of obligation and professional duty. But at Harvard, that's a tough sell. Here, the emphasis is on the individual--the "me", the "I," and the "mine." It is difficult to explain a group obligation to people who idolize the first person singular.

But the most difficult part of the recruiting period has been learning the limits of liberal tolerance. It has been uncomfortable to see that the lessons I learned from the traditional liberal platform appear not to apply to me.

I salute you, First Lieutenant Kate Thornton Buzick. May God bless you for your service to this country





|| Greg, 05:52 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Al-Zarqawi Threatens King Abdullah, A Descendant Of Muhammad

Proving that the Islamist terrorists have no real commitment to Islam and no respect for Muhammad.

An audiotape purportedly from the head of al-Qaida in Iraq said Friday the group's suicide bombers did not intend to bomb a Jordanian wedding party at an Amman hotel last week, killing about 30 people. The speaker on the tape, identified as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, also threatened to kill Jordan's King Abdullah II and bomb more hotels and tourist sites.

"Your star is fading. You will not escape your fate, you descendant of traitors. We will be able to reach your head and chop it off," al- Zarqawi said, referring to the king.

It would appear that al-Zarqawi places himself above the very family of his Prophet in determining what is the true practice of Islam, and is prepared to lay hands on those of his blood to further the perverse Islamist faith of the terrorists.

And, of course, al-Zarqawi is willing to lie for his cause.

Al-Zarqawi accused the Jordanian government of hiding casualties among Israeli and American intelligence agents, and he insisted al-Qaida in Iraq was not targeting fellow Muslims.

"We want to assure you that ... you are more beloved to us than ourselves," al-Zarqawi said, addressing Jordanians.

At least 59 people were killed in the near simultaneous bombings at three Amman hotels _ around 30 of them in the wedding party taking place at the Radisson. Witnesses told Jordanian security officials that the Radisson bomber talked his way into the wedding hall, watched it for a while, then jumped on a table in the hall to detonate his explosives.

So al-Zarqawi questions the word of the Muslim survivors of the attack, those who witnessed the attack and made statements at the time about the circumstances of the attack. He is not only a murderer of his fellow Muslims, but he is a murderer of the truth. And add to that his statement of intent to murder a descendant of Muhammad, and I fail to see how any true believer in Islam can follow such an obvious apostate





|| Greg, 05:51 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 16, 2005

Support Stephen Laffey

My mom is probably related to half of Rhode Island – not a big feat, given the relative size of that state. Her hometown is Cranston, Rhode Island, and much of the family still lives up that way. As a result, I’ve long taken an interest in Rhode Island’s politics, and the lamentable records of the Chafee family as Republican senators.

As a result, I gladly join Captain Ed in endorsing Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey for the GOP nomination for Senate in 2006.

I make this endorsement despite the fact that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is actively opposing Laffey in favor of Chafee.

I make this endorsement because of the fact that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is actively opposing Laffey in favor of Chafee.

Brian Nick, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said it is "ridiculous" that Laffey is running against "the only Republican that can keep the seat in the Senate." The committee is financing the ads and urging Laffey to abandon the race.

In recent years, Laffey endeared himself to the GOP by challenging the state's unions and other public officials; Republicans once courted him for lieutenant governor. Now, he is ignoring their entreaties to step aside.

"This is the story of my life," said Laffey, a 43-year-old former investment banker. "People tell me I shouldn't do things, and I end up doing them. Seems like I do them for spite sometimes."

The son of a toolmaker, Laffey frequently boasts about attending Harvard Business School despite being told he would not get in straight out of college. He scoffs at the Republican argument about the Senate race.

"The national Republican Party has sort of lost its way," he said. "Think about it: The first $200,000 they're spending is against a fellow Republican."

Yeah, that’s right. They are not going after the Democrats. They are not going against Chafee, whose tendency is to oppose the President and the rest of the GOP at every turn. They are spending this cash – raised from conservative sources – to attack the Reagan Republican in the race!

So if you can, send a few bucks Laffey’s way.

And remember – Not One Dime to the national campaign organizations.





|| Greg, 07:46 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

When Islamist Swine Attack

We see once more why treating the Islamists as civilized people will not work – they are not human beings, but are rather rabid swine.

NARATHIWAT, Thailand: Nine villagers from the same family were gunned down in their sleep yesterday by suspected Islamic militants in southern Thailand, as attacks escalated in the Muslim-majority region.

An unknown number of militants used grenades and automatic weapons to attack three homes in Ra Ngae district's Bo-Ngo village at 1.30am, killing all of those in one of the houses, including an infant, witnesses said. The massacre brings to 18 the number of people killed during the past week.

"There are nine villagers shot dead and another nine wounded," said Pracha Tearat, governor of Narathiwat province where the attack occurred, adding that the wounded had been taken to hospital and were out of danger.

Mr Pracha said the victims were targeted because they co-operated with the Government in its bid to quell an Islamic insurgency in southern Thailand that has been raging for more than 22 months.

"It's the really brutal work of militants. They kill everyone if they learn that those people take sides with the Government," he said.

Such murderous creatures need to be declared outside the protections afforded to mere criminals. These terrorists are the enemy of all humanity, and must be stopped by any means necessary, without regard for humanitarian considerations.





|| Greg, 07:35 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

UPDATE – Lucas Dawson

I wrote about the Lucas Dawson case not long ago.

Fortunately, there is a happy ending to the story for Dawson and his family. Lucas was cleared of the charge of voluntary manslaughter by the judge.

Sadly, there is also bad news for Dawson and his family. Lucas has had to leave his home to move to a safer neighborhood because of threats against his life from the rabid beasts in human form who engaged in an unprovoked attack upon him because of his sexuality. Those criminals remain at large, and face no charges for their actions.

Lucas Dawson began carrying a knife after being attacked while kissing his male lover in a South Philadelphia Park four years ago.

Now, after a second assault by gay bashers - one of whom he killed in self-defense - Dawson's thinking about getting a gun.

The 21-year-old was cleared yesterday of charges in the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old boy who was among a group that attacked him near his East Mount Airy home on Oct. 29.

There was great relief at the Dawson home yesterday after the decision by a Municipal Court judge, but now the concern is his safety.

Last night, Dawson packed to leave home for fear of retaliation.

"I mean, seven guys jumped me, and one guy died," he said. "There's still six other people that want to hurt me.

"I fear for my safety, and that's why I'm moving away," he added. "I won't carry a knife on me anymore, but I am considering getting a gun permit."

David Diggs, the boyfriend of Lucas' mother, Lisa, said Lucas was not safe in the neighborhood any longer.

Now I find this situation rather shocking. Why hasn’t Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham seen to it that the perpetrators of this real anti-gay hate crime are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and that their victim is allowed to live with dignity in his home. After all, this is the same Lynne Abraham who was willing to prosecute Christian demonstrators for nothing more than exercising their First Amendment right on a city street when it offended the radical homosexuals. Let’s contact her and ask why she won’t deal with violent felons who attempt to physically harm homosexuals with the same level of tenacity she shows towards Christians who merely speak a message homosexuals do not want to hear.





|| Greg, 07:30 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Confusing Liberal Dogma With Reality

Just look at the absurdity of this letter, spawned by a recent Houston Chronicle editorial condemning ¾ of Texans for disagreeing with the editorial board.

Common-law status

Kudos to the Chronicle for reminding readers of the shameful discrimination against fellow citizens through Proposition 2.

I missed the discussion about the consequences of Prop 2 on any legal status similar or identical to marriage, such as "common-law marriage." As far as I can see, Proposition 2 is in direct conflict with the state of Texas' recognition of common-law marriages.

I can't believe it is legal to annul this age-old practice on these unions between men and women; I don't believe that was the intention of those drafting and approving Prop 2.

JENS HOUKEN
Houston

Uh, Jens – many states do not recognize common-law marriage at all, so it is clearly legal (and constitutional) for a state to not recognize common-law marriage.

But more to the point, the amendment just passed by the voters of Texas defines marriage as being between one man and one woman – but does not stipulate a form by which marriage occurs. Common-law marriage, therefore, is still legal in Texas, and was never under any threat from Proposition 2.

Except in the rhetoric of dishonest advocates of homosexual marriage, out to frighten voters into rejecting a reasonable amendment to the Texas Constitution.





|| Greg, 07:28 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

And In Their Case, They Are Probably Right

Consider this call to arms for all those liberals out there -- STOP REPRODUCING!.

"We can't be breeding right now," says Les Knight. "It's obvious that the intentional creation of another [human being] by anyone anywhere can't be justified today."

Knight is the founder of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, an informal network of people dedicated to phasing out the human race in the interest of the health of the Earth. Knight, whose convictions led him to get a vasectomy in the 1970s, when he was 25, believes that the human race is inherently dangerous to the planet and inevitably creates an unsustainable situation.

"As long as there's one breeding couple," he says cheerfully, "we're in danger of being right back here again. Wherever humans live, not much else lives. It isn't that we're evil and want to kill everything -- it's just how we live."

Let’s get Mr. Knight sterilized right now – there is no time to lose, because every second he remains attached to his testicles provides the opportunity for him to reproduce. Ditto the rest of the pro-extinction movement.

And let’s encourage them to go one step further – the Voluntary Liberal Extermination Movement should urge like-minded opponents of the human blight upon the world to engage in mass suicide. After all, why put off until tomorrow (extinction will take a while) what can and should be done today.

After all, if they really love the planet more than they love the human race…





|| Greg, 07:24 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Bishops Oppose Death Penalty – But

Remaining faithful to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and to the writings of Pope John Paul the Great, American bishops have taken a stand against the use of the death penalty.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops yesterday overwhelmingly approved a new statement of opposition to capital punishment, asserting that it contributes to a culture of death and violence in the United States.

It was the bishops' first comprehensive statement on the death penalty in 25 years, and coincided with the debate in the Massachusetts House of Representatives on a proposal to reinstate capital punishment in the Bay State. Massachusetts is one of 12 states in which the death penalty is prohibited.
The bishops, who are holding their annual meeting in Washington, said their longtime opposition to capital punishment is being renewed and strengthened by new teachings and new support for abolition of the death penalty growing out of the Gospel of Life encyclical issued by the late Pope John Paul II.

Citing John Paul's teachings, the bishops declared that ''the death penalty is not intrinsically evil, as is the taking of human life through abortion or euthanasia," but ''in contemporary society, where the state has other, nonlethal means to protect its citizens, the state should not use the death penalty."

Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, who has strongly opposed the restoration of capital punishment in Massachusetts since Governor Mitt Romney proposed reinstating it last year, said in an interview that a ''sea change" is occurring among Catholics, who in the past have shown strong support for the death penalty.

''I think the abortion issue raised this up," O'Malley said. ''As people began realizing that the dignity of human life was being diminished by abortion, it caused them to consider other ways in which the dignity of human life was being diminished."

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn, who led the effort to formulate the new bishops' statement on the death penalty, told the assembly in Washington that the statement ''is a call to reject the tragic illusion that we can demonstrate respect for life by taking life, that we can teach that killing is wrong by killing those who kill others."

He and other bishops argued that polling results, recent declines in executions, and parallel decreases in death sentences are evidence that public and political sentiments are turning against capital punishment. He said the exoneration of more than 100 people who have been proven innocent after being condemned to die was bringing home to the public the flawed and biased nature of capital punishment.

The bishops drew a strong distinction between the church's stance on capital punishment and its absolute opposition to abortion and euthanasia, stating that the death penalty was an issue on which ''people of good will can disagree."

Now notice what is being said here – support for the death penalty is consistent with Catholic teaching. There is room for disagreement by those who remain in union with Rome, for the death penalty for the guilty is recognized as being permissible though discouraged. This stands in opposition to the teaching on abortion, as the intentional taking of innocent life is never permissible. Bear that in mind when pro-abortionists insist that support for abortion and support for the death penalty are equally in opposition to Catholic teaching – for they are explicitly lying when they make that statement.





|| Greg, 07:22 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

This Is Bad

On the other hand, it seems clear that both the US and the Iraqi authorities are determined to stop such abuses, which appear to be perpetrated by elements of one political party.

U.S. and Iraqi forces raided a secret Iraqi detention bunker run by the Ministry of Interior in central Baghdad and freed 173 Sunni prisoners who had been tortured with electric shocks and drills, Iraqi and U.S. officials said yesterday. The Ministry of Interior in the Shi'ite-led government has been repeatedly accused of allowing extrajudicial detentions and abuses, including operation of anti-Sunni hit squads.

A Baghdad police official said officers from the Shi'ite-led Badr Brigade, which answers to the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) political party, were manning the bunker when the U.S. and Iraqi forces arrived.

"The army searched the bunker and found many prisoners there," said the police official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "They found prisoners who had been treated inhumanely, tortured with warm water, electricity and drills in their bodies."

He said all the detainees were Sunnis, and police braced for an outburst of anger when news of the discovery is widely circulated today.

Since they have seen fit to act like Saddamites, I hope the Iraqi courts treat the perpetrators like Saddamites.





|| Greg, 07:20 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

ACLU Gets One Right

I rarely agree with the ACLU on cases involving religion, but I have to support them on this one.

A retired Atlanta librarian and a Sandy Springs bookshop owner are challenging a state law that grants a sales tax exemption for purchases of the Bible and other books pertaining to "Holy Scripture."

Their lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, said if such works are exempt from sales and use taxes, other philosophical, religious and spiritual works should be as well.

"The law is written in such a way that minority religions don't get the same tax exemption as better-known religions such as Christianity and Judaism," said Maggie Garrett, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, which represents the two plaintiffs.

State law exempts from sales tax all "Holy Bibles, testaments and similar books commonly recognized as being Holy Scripture." The decades-old law also exempts "any religious paper ... when the paper is owned and operated by religious institutions and denominations," but it does not define religious paper.

Frankly, the argument is a reasonable one – though I might be willing to take it a bit further and raise the issue of why books and periodicals are taxed at all, given that the tax can be seen as inhibiting the communication of ideas and favoring religious speech over non-religious speech.





|| Greg, 07:19 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Three Lessons From Tom DeLay

I was somewhat concerned as I clicked on the link to Mark Green’s column on Tom DeLay. I had never read him before, and I was anticipating a sharp attack on my congressman.

I was wrong.

Instead I was treated to a defense of DeLay, and DeLay’s own defense of the three rebukes he received from the Ehics Committee for non-violations of the Senateethics rules.

In an interview last month, I asked the former House majority leader to defend the three things that led the House ethics committee to wag its finger at him without finding any outright violation. His answer was a civics lesson in the form of a whiff of modern political coffee.

First, the golf fundraiser with executives of an energy company. The DeLay lesson: No one should be shocked that people with a lot of money will get to hang out with politicians. Ethical issues arise only if money or proximity sparks a dishonest change of position.

Second, the famed attempt to get the FAA to help snag the wayward Texas lawmakers who had bolted the state rather than face a losing vote on redistricting. The DeLay lesson: He sought to learn the whereabouts of these runaways so that the will of the people could be realized through a vote. And the problem with that is precisely what?

Third, the promise he offered to a retiring House colleague to support his son in a primary in return for a vote for the Bush Medicare plan. The DeLay lesson: "Happens all the time – I've traded all kinds of things to get things I wanted from other members of Congress. It's how things get done."

I cannot help but note that two of the defenses are concepts I teach in my government class. Legislators make deals all the time to get support for measures they want passed, even to the point of supporting legislation they dislike. People with money want to be people with influence so they seek to socialize with people of power – it is not a surprise and is not a problem until and unless there is a quid pro quo. And as for the FAA issue, the abandonment of one’s responsibilities as a legislator in order to prevent the will of the people being done is much more unethical than trying to locate those who are on the lam.





|| Greg, 04:33 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 15, 2005

DeLay Wants No Delay

Congressman Tom DeLay wants an early trial if the charges against him are not dismissed at a November 22 hearing.

An attorney for Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) said Monday that he will request an early December trial date for the former House majority leader, if the case gets that far.

Lawyer Dick DeGuerin said in a letter that "time is of the essence" in the case that has forced DeLay to temporarily step down from his House post.

Judge Pat Priest has set a hearing for next Tuesday to consider requests to drop the charges against DeLay and his co-defendants. Defense attorneys have asked that the charges be dropped for various reasons, including alleged misconduct by a prosecutor.

"Should the indictments survive the hearings of November 22, we will request a trial date in early December," DeGuerin wrote in his letter to Priest.

DeGuerin is also asking that Priest, a visiting judge, move the trial out of liberal-leaning Travis County to DeLay's home county of Fort Bend.

This whole trial could be over quickly if DeLay is given his constitutional right to a fair and speedy trial.

The one thing that could throw up a roadblock is his desire to move the trial from Travis County – a county so left-of-center that it was the only county in Texas that rejected Proposition 2, which defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. I sincerely doubt that DeLay could get an unbiased jury of his peers in that county – but I don’t know that moving it to Fort Bend County, the heart of his power base, will fly. I would suggest Wharton County, or Matagorda County, each of which is outside the 22nd Congressional District but and “neutral ground” for the two parties to the case.





|| Greg, 08:59 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Proper Decision Not To Indict

I’ve been troubled by the decision of Dallas County prosecutors to seek an indictment against Juan Robles, the driver of that bus that burst into flames during the Hurricane Rita evacuation. As tragic as the deaths on that bus were, to me they did not add up to criminal conduct by the driver.

It seems like a grand jury agrees.

A grand jury declined to indict the driver of the charter bus that burst into flames and killed 23 Bellaire nursing home residents as they fled Hurricane Rita, Dallas County prosecutors said Monday.

The Dallas County Sheriff's Department had referred 23 counts of negligent homicide against Juan Robles Gutierrez, one for each death, to the district attorney, who presented them to the grand jury.

"I was always convinced that a grand jury or jury would vindicate my client of any responsibility in this," said Robles' attorney, George Shaffer. "My client is not a crook. He isn't a criminal. He didn't cause these people to die."

Shaffer said he expected Robles to be released from federal custody in Houston as early as today if federal immigration authorities set bail. He has posted a separate $50,000 bond in connection with his role as a witness in a federal probe into the fatal explosion and fire.

At Robles' home in Monterrey, Mexico, the 37-year-old bus driver's three older brothers said they were happy, but not surprised, that their brother was not charged with wrongdoing.

"It is very good news. We will sleep peacefully tonight," said Carlos Robles, 44, the eldest. "We are very happy, and we always had faith in the United States (legal system) and that things would turn out all right."

I’m hoping that prosecutors go after those who failed to maintain the bus and who let it operate in this unsafe condition. That was not Robles.

Unfortunately, Robles is going to be released from federal detention. You may wonder why I say “unfortunately”.

Robles has been detained for unlawfully entering the United States in January, one month before he went to work for Pharr-based Global Limo.

If Robles is to be released, he ought to be released on the south-side of the US/Mexico border, with clear instructions not to return without legal paperwork.





|| Greg, 08:46 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Michael Graham Back On The Air

After being driven off ABC Radio affiliate WMAL-AM in Washington, DC by the terrorist supporters from CAIR, Michael Graham has found a new home on the air in Boston.

Michael Graham was fired in August by WMAL-AM because he refused to apologize for saying "We are at war with a terrorist organization named Islam," on-air following the London subway bombings.

"I stand by it," Graham, 42, told the Boston Herald on Monday.

The former standup comedian and GOP political consultant officially took over Monday as WTKK-FM's afternoon drive host after a two-week tryout, replacing Jay Severin.

"I think he's a very bright guy," said Peter Smyth, chief executive of Greater Media, which owns WTKK. He said audience response to Graham had so far been "incredibly positive."

Why wouldn’t he be popular? After all, he is speaking the truth as he sees it, and his point of view is not unreasonable.

CAIR, angry that their attempt to censor one and intimidate many has failed, is already planning their next move.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said they're disappointed with the decision and will monitor his new show for similar comments.

"When you describe one-fifth of the world's population to be a member of a terrorist organization, that amounts to bigotry," said Ibrahim Hooper, a group spokesman.

Sorry, Ibrahim, gotta disagree with you. When most of that one-fifth says next to nothing when their co-religionists murder Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and others in the name of the religion of that one-fifth of the world’s population, it is not unreasonable to conclude that the one-fifth is part of a terrorist organization – or at least providing aid, comfort, and support to the terrorists.

Congratulations, Michael.





|| Greg, 08:44 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Hold Hillary! To The Lott Standard

Robert "Sheets" Byrd is the senior Democrat in the US Senate. Tonight he is being honored with a party marking his 88th birthday. It is sponsored by Hillary! Clinton and the rest of the Democrat female senators.

The location of the party for the former Klansman, the serial filibusterer of civil rights legislation, the only senator to vote against the confirmation of both Supreme Court justices, and the spewer of the "N-word" on national television, is particularly outrageous. It is the home of abolitionist, civil rights pioneer, and life-long Republican Frederick Douglass.

Potential Clinton opponent Jeanine Pirro has shined a spotlight upon this outrage.

"It's outrageous and shocking that Senator Clinton and her Democrat colleagues would choose Frederick Douglass' house to honor Senator Robert Byrd who has a history of involvement with hate groups and has used racial slurs publicly," said Pirro spokeswoman Andrea Tantaros.

I wonder -- will the former Klan leader and other guests be shuttled to the party in Rosa Parks' bus?





|| Greg, 08:43 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (7) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

More Animal Rights Terrorism

Proving once again that they have more in common with the objects of their adoration than with the human race, there has been another case of “animal rights” terrorism.

Animal rights extremists have targeted the widow of a former pharmaceuticals agent who has been dead for more than a year.

Kathryn Grant, 51, and her teenage son were at home when the family car was torched by fanatics who later boasted on a website "your decisions will come back to haunt you forever even when you have gone".

Mrs Grant said: "I cannot believe they have done this knowing Alex was no longer managing director."

The intended object of the act of terrorism, Alex Grant, the former managing director of the UK division of Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical conglomerate, died in March.

Not that the terrorists cared about that. Their goal is terror against any who dare to disagree with them – and their bereaved families. They even brag about their intent.

A recent addition to the Bite Back website - used by the Animal Rights Militia, Animal Liberation Front and other extremists - said: "This year we have been keeping many senior personnel from HLS's customers and suppliers under intense surveillance. One such person was Alexander Grant, East Sussex. Grant was a senior director of Roche who are a major customer of Huntingdon Life Sciences. We were planning an attack on Grant a few months ago but then realised that he had just died of a heart attack.

"In October we carried out the operation at Grant's address planting two incendiary devices under an expensive four-wheel drive, totally destroying it. People who sign contracts with or deal with Huntingdon need to realise that your decisions will come back to haunt you forever even when you have gone."

The time has come to treat these folks like al-Qaeda.





|| Greg, 08:41 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Dean DOES NOT Disavow Racist Attacks On Steele

The headline on this Washington Times article is dead wrong.

While he said he opposes such attacks, Howard Dean fell short of condemning them on Monday, for the second time showing that the Democrat Party remains the natural home of racists and race-baiters, as it has been since its birth.

"I oppose any effort to make an issue of a candidate's ethnicity in a political campaign, including in the Maryland Senate race," Mr. Dean said.

He issued the written statement after Maryland Republican Party Chairman John M. Kane prodded him to apologize for remarks he made Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

That really is not much of a disavowal, in my opinion. He opposed racist attacks upon GOP candidates, but he did not condemn them, did not urge that they stop, and did not urge other Democrats to speak out against such racism.

And then Dean, who cannot bring himself to forthrightly condemn real racism, found it necessary to bring up imaginary racism for partisan purposes.

"I also call on Chairman Mehlman to join me in condemning Republican secretaries of state who continue to make it harder for African-Americans around the country to exercise their right to vote," Mr. Dean said.

Unfortunately for Dean, such claims have been debunked in every investigation of alleged voting rights violations.

Perhaps even more pathetic was this complaint.

The DNC also circulated an e-mail that quoted Mr. Kane in May describing Mr. Dean as the "socialist-endorsing party chairman," an apparent reference to Mr. Dean endorsing the Senate run of U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a registered independent and self-described "democratic socialist."

I guess that means that the plain, unvarnished truth is now unacceptable if it paints Dean in a bad light.

What I find particularly interesting is that the so-called “Party of Civil Rights” found the Dean statement to be so unimportant that it did not even add it to its news release page. Ditto Dean’s own political organization, Democracy for America. I guess that they both are too embarrassed by the Screamin’ Deanie to put his words where they might be available to the public at large.

ALSO COMMENTING: Blogs For Bush





|| Greg, 08:39 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

So That's What the Commotion Was About!

I pass the construction site for the new Bayport terminal on my way home from work every day It is a couple of miles from my house.

Yesterday, I saw a bunch of squad cars and some television trucks at what is nothing more than an industrial construction site.

Seems they made a surprise discovery.

Authorities on Monday were combing through an area near the new Bayport terminal after a work crew discovered a human skull.

Pasadena police and officials with the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office, including an anthropologist, were called to the site in the 12800 block of Port Road about 9:45 a.m.

After searching the area for other clues, police also found a leg bone and a shirt, Pasadena police spokesman Vance Mitchell said.

"We are not sure if it is a man or a woman," Mitchell said of the skull found in a field near where a crew was surveying.

Additional testing will determine if the skull and the leg bone were from the same person.

Mitchell said it appears the skull had been in the field for some time because there was no flesh on it.

This may slow down the construction for a bit.

I'll let you know if it is anything really exciting.





|| Greg, 06:02 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 14, 2005

A Book I Want

The stupid things that some people say will amaze you. As a teacher, I have a million of them from my students – and their parents. But I really want to read this book by a judge in the Spring Break paradise of South Padre Island, Spring Break: A Judge's View From the Bench.

Most have to do with public intoxication, and the often silly excuses defendants give.

"I am always glassy-eyed, talk with a slur and walk with an unsteady balance," said one.

Guilty, said the judge.

The 60-year-old judge sits in front of a colorful seascape mural and wears tennis shoes when holding court on the weekends. In general, he said, he tries to keep things a little lighter during spring break.

"My primary rule is if I have to sit up there all day, by God, they have an obligation to entertain me," he said. When he hears snickers, he tells those in the courtroom: "Go ahead and laugh. I'm going to laugh with you, because most of the time it's so darn stupid."

Like the defendant who threw a beer can out of a pickup truck and hit a police car.

"I informed him that this is Texas," Colwell wrote. "You are supposed to throw the beer cans from the cab into the back of the pickup, which has been well known for years as a traveling wastebasket."

A student from New York appeared before the judge and did not fight his indecent exposure charge, instead asking what his punishment would be.
Colwell wrote: "Instead of explaining again that in the United States you are innocent until proven guilty, I said, 'This is Texas. We don't allow men to go around exposing themselves to young ladies. We have a tree out back, and we're going to hang you.' The defendant turned pale. Being from N.Y., with tales of the Old West in his head, he actually believed me."

So far, Judge David Colwell has sold around 500 copies. Too bad he isn’t hawking it on Amazon





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School District Pays Up

Violating the First Amendment rights of a middle school student cost the Oceanport, New Jersey schools $117,500.

"While my parents and I are happy the case is resolved, most importantly, I'm hopeful this will help ensure that free-speech rights of students aren't trampled on again in the future," said Dwyer, who is now in 11th grade.

Dwyer created the Web site containing criticism of Maple Place School in April 2003, on his own time from his home computer. Comments posted on the site's "guest book" section angered school officials, who suspended Dwyer for a week, benched him from playing on the baseball team for a month, and barred him from going on his class trip, among other discipline. The district's lawsuit said anti-Semitic remarks were posted on the site, which Dwyer denied writing.

"The school district has never — to this day — explained to us what rule or policy our son violated," said Kevin Dwyer, Ryan's father.

Maybe a few more big payouts like this will cause zero-tolerance crazed administrators to think critically before slapping students with draconian punishments for infractions that are no infractions at all – especially when it involves the illicit limitation of rights guaranteed by the Constitution.





|| Greg, 06:46 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Felon Disenfranchisement Constitutional

So says the Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court let stand on Monday a Florida law that generally bars convicted felons from voting, even after they have completed their term of prison, probation and parole.

The high court rejected an appeal which argued that the law could be challenged under a section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibits voter disqualification based on race.

Every state in the nation, except for Maine and Vermont, prohibit, to one degree or another, felons from voting. Fourteen states, including Florida, generally bar felons from voting even after they have served their sentences and have completed their terms of probation and parole.

Approximately 5 million felons who have been released from prison are legally disenfranchised, civil rights experts have estimated. About 1.4 million black men remain permanently disenfranchised.

The appeal to the Supreme Court involved eight Florida citizens who brought the class-action lawsuit on behalf of more than 613,000 Florida felons who are barred from voting even though they have completed their prison sentences and their terms of probation or parole.

Under the law, felons are barred from voting for life unless their civil rights have been restored by Florida's Clemency Board. Attorneys who challenged the law said that Florida, Alabama, Kentucky and Virginia were the only states that disenfranchise first-time offenders for life.

The lawsuit challenged the law, which was initially adopted in 1868 and revised 100 years later, for violating the Voting Rights Act and for disproportionately disenfranchising blacks.

Now we can question the wisdom of such laws, but not their constitutionality. It does not even take much legal scholarship to reach the result announced today. After all, one simply needs to go to the Fourteenth Amendment.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.

In other words, the Constitution itself settles this matter, granting the states the right to impose such bans on felon voting. The solution, then, is in the legislatures of the sttes that impose such bans, not the courts.





|| Greg, 06:45 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Dean Won’t Condemn Racism

Once again, we have proof that the racist apple does not fall far from the DNC tree. Howard Dean will not apologize for or condemn racial attacks upon Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele.

The RNC Chairman, Ken Mehlman, points to the problem.

"He's had racial epithets thrown at him. He's been derided on a Web site that the Democrats have. And while some Democrats in Maryland have criticized it, there's been utter silence from national Democrats on this important issue," Mr. Mehlman said.

"I would also hope he'd condemn the following: There are a whole bunch of Democratic candidates and Republican candidates around the country. But Charles Schumer and the [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee] chose one candidate [Mr. Steele] to go after his credit report and engage in identity theft against him," Mr. Mehlman said.

The response to these issues by Dean? Self-centered, self-absorbed complaining, and not a word about the acts of racism coming out of his own party.

Mr. Dean declined to address the statements against Mr. Steele, but said, "I didn't hear Ken condemning the chairman of the Maryland party when he called me an anti-Semite."

The funny thing is that the Maryland GOP Chair has never said any such thing; while there was a controversy about the words of the GOP Chairman in New York, he never made the statements referenced by Howard Dean. I guess this is another one of Howard Dean’s lies – in the service of the traditional racism directed by the Democrat Party against black Republicans, a custom that dates back to Reconstruction in his party.

So much for the leader of the so-called “Party of Civil Rights”.





|| Greg, 06:43 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Newdow Again Seeks To Impose Atheism On Religious Americans

He’s at it again. Isn’t there a judicial rule about the filing of frivolous lawsuits?

A Sacramento County man says he will file a federal lawsuit in the coming week demanding the U.S. Treasury remove the words "In God We Trust" from American currency.

Michael Newdow is the same man who led a legal effort to ban the recitation of the pledge of allegiance in public schools because of the phrase "under God."

Newdow says the words "In Good We Trust" on currency is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. He adds it, "excludes people who don't believe in God."

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Newdow's challenge of the pledge of allegiance because he's not the custodial parent of a student forced to say the prayer. The activist has since recruited other families who also oppose the pledge to re file the suit. It is now pending in the federal appeals courts.

Newdow says he has little patience for those who say the references to God are appropriate because of the country's history.

"It's not the history that counts. It's not the patriotism. What it is, is these people want to get their religious views in our government," he said.

And you want yours there, Michael – whether or not the rest of America agrees.

Oh, and by the way, the Supreme Court just let stand the dismissal of a suit exactly like yours.

A U.S. appeals court ruled that the lawsuit failed to show that the display had no legitimate secular purpose, that it has the effect of endorsing religion or that it has resulted in an excessive entanglement of government and religion.

The appeals court said Congress first authorized the phrase "In God We Trust" on coins in 1865, and Congress made it the national motto in 1956. It is inscribed above the speaker's chair in the U.S. House of Representatives and above the main door of the U.S. Senate chamber.

Attorneys for the two lawyers asked the justices to set aside the appeals court's ruling and send the case back for reconsideration in view of the Supreme Court's decision in June that Kentucky courthouses violated church-state separation by putting copies of the Ten Commandments on display.

The high court rejected the appeal without any comment or recorded dissent.

So I guess that you will just have to deal with being oppressed by all of the majority who find that phrase inoffensive. Head out to North Korea, Cuba, or Red China if you want official atheism.





|| Greg, 06:41 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Wisconsin Voters To Decide On Marriage

Wisconsin is one of the states that is likely to vote on preserving the traditional definition of marriage in 2006.

In the next 12 months, Wisconsin voters should expect to become familiar with what might be the most talked-about two sentences of the 2006 campaign season.

"Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."

That's the language of a proposed constitutional amendment on track to be on statewide ballots by next Nov. 7.

There are likely to be 10 to 12 marriage amendments on state ballots in 2006. Given Wisconsin’s traditionally liberal/progressive outlook, expect it to be a battleground state in this important cultural fight.





|| Greg, 06:39 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Saudi Teacher Imprisoned For Crimes Against Islam

Somehow I doubt that the supporters of academic freedom for the likes of Ward Churchill will say a word in protest of the imprisonment and flogging of Mohammad al-Harbi, who was taken to court by his colleagues for daring to speak contrary to the Saudi government’s religious edicts.

Al-Madina newspaper said secondary-school teacher Mohammad al-Harbi, who will be flogged in public, was taken to court by his colleagues and students.

He was charged with promoting a "dubious ideology, mocking religion, saying the Jews were right, discussing the Gospel and preventing students from leaving class to wash for prayer," the newspaper said.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, strictly upholds the austere Wahhabi school of Islam and bases its constitution on the Koran and the sayings of the prophet Muhammad. Public practice of any other religion is banned.

And this isn’t the first time a teacher has been punished for such apostate comments.

Come on, folks, when are you going to speak out in favor of the academic freedom of teachers in other countries? How about religious freedom?





|| Greg, 06:36 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Matter Of Fear

It must be hard to be Abe Foxman. After all, it must be difficult to live with such a high level of paranoia untreated by medication.

"Today we face a better financed, more sophisticated, coordinated, unified, energized and organized coalition of groups in opposition to our policy positions on church-state separation than ever before. Their goal is to implement their Christian worldview. To Christianize America. To save us!"

As Hillel Halkin points out, his paranoid rambling is filled with rank hypocrisy, since the ADL and other Jewish groups have done the same thing for years. What is Foxman really afraid of – the imposition of religious values through legislation, or simply the imposition of someone else’s values?





|| Greg, 06:35 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 13, 2005

Dean Lies Again

Well, I don't know why we should be surprised -- Howard Dean wouldn't know the truth if he found it chewing on his tie.

Dean charged it was hypocritical for conservatives to denounce the possibility of a procedural hurdle known as a filibuster against Alito, a federal appeals judge since 1990.

Dean noted conservatives had helped force President George W. Bush's earlier nominee, White House counsel Harriet Miers, to withdraw without even getting a hearing.

"How dare they have an ad saying we want an up-or-down vote on Judge Alito, when they wouldn't give one to Harriet Miers?" Dean told NBC's "Meet the Press."

Uhhhhh -- wrong, Howard.

I don't know of a single conservative who opposed giving Ms. Miers a vote. We simply warned the White House that we, the members of his base who did the legwork to get him elected, were not supportive of the nomination and that we would be urging GOP senators to vote against Ms. Miers. We reminded him that the defeat of the Miers nomination would weaken him, and suggested that he would do better to act from strength by withdrawing the nominee before she was defeated or confirmed with significant opposition from his own party. There was no one on the GOP side talking about there not being a vote.

on the other hand, the Democrats have regularly taken the opposite position. They seek to prevent any vote, regardless of whether or not the nominee has a majority behind him or her. Where conservatives would have permitted a vote even if they were to lose, liberals don't want a vote at all if they are going to be defeated.

With the possible exception of Hugh Hewitt (who I believe to have been unhinged on the Miers matter), no one on the Right considers a urging the withdrawal of a nominee to be the same as filibustering a nominee.Our method was to urge reconsideration -- the Left's method was an act of obstructionism. That Dean does not recognize the difference is indicative of either dishonesty or dementia.





|| Greg, 08:25 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Memorial That Needs Building

Of all the evils that manifested themselves in the Twentieth Century, the evil of Communism is clearly the most insidious.

Even today, this malignant ideology is supported and defended by those who have always lived in freedom. They deny the relaity that was lived and which is testified to by the millions who survived the brutal Communist regimes that oppressed (and which still oppress) billions. Such defenders of Communism are no better than the Holocaust denying stooges who seek to explain away the gas chambers and crematoria of the Nazi death camps.

Such defenses of this ongoing manifestation of oppression must be countered, lest today's generation be fooled and future generations forget the horrors committed by the various manifestations of Communism.

Red State and Chequer-Board (Pejman's new home) are both offering suport to the building of The Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, DC. I wholeheartedly join in their endorsement of this project, and encourage donations to The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Under Public Law 103-199, our Foundation is authorized to design, construct and maintain an international Memorial to the more than 100 million victims of communism. In April 2005, the National Capital Planning Commission formally approved a site for our Memorial at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., New Jersey Avenue, N.W., and G Street, N.W. It is across from the Georgetown University Law Center and only two blocks from Union Station and the Metro.

In October 2005, the National Capital Planning Commission gave preliminary approval to our design--a 10-foot bronze replica of the "Democracy" statue erected by Chinese students in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and based on our own Statue of Liberty. We will receive final approval at the November NCPC meeting.

Our next step is to raise all the funds needed to build and maintain the Memorial--approximately $700,000. We have raised two-thirds of this amount. We have received challenge grants of $125,000, meaning we need to raise $125,000 from supporters like you.

We rightly remember the millions who died at the hands of the Hitler and the Nazis. Do what you are able to commemorate those who suffered and died from Communism.





|| Greg, 06:13 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Speaks

The winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Today's Left by Dr. Sanity, and The Arm of Decision by Vodkapundit.  The full results of the vote are posted at the Watcher's site.





|| Greg, 05:30 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Mascot Mania

Students from Sam Houston State University have written a book about high school mascots here in Texas. You know, some of them are quite unusual, with great stories behind them.

It's the single-name schools that attract the attention.

Like the Hutto Hippos, a name that goes back to 1915 when a hippo escaped from a circus train in Austin and finally was found in a creek near Hutto, about 25 miles to the northeast.

In the 1924 yearbook at Mason High School, the football team was called the cowpunchers, another term for cowboy.

As the years went by, the name got shortened to the Punchers, and it survives. The school plays in the Puncher Dome.

Local economies factor into many of the names. In the 1940s, the Rockcrushers of Knippa got their name when a rock-crushing plant moved there, and Rocksprings adopted the name the Angoras when it became "The Angora Goat Capital of the World."

Brazosport High School, along the Gulf Coast, has the Exporters. Robstown has its Cottonpickers, and Port Isabel, at the southern tip of the state on the Gulf of Mexico, has the Fighting Tarpons.

Some were obvious. In Hamlin? The Pied Pipers. Muleshoe? The Mules. And in Winters? The Blizzards.

Other one-of-a-kinds include the Porcupines of Springtown, who trace their mascot to a 1920s basketball player who suggested the name because people feared the animal's sharp quills. Local folks quoted in the book are more inclined to remember the awful smell of a real porcupine adopted by students in the 1960s.

Itasca's Wampus Cats owe their birth to a 1921 school pep rally where the term apparently was yelled out by a cheerleader. According to the book, it's either a Cherokee evil spirit, a legendary ferocious half-man, half-wildcat wandering Georgia or a striped cat from Tennessee.

The Mighty Red Ants of Progreso are named not for the pesky insect but for the nickname a beloved teacher called her students when the district had only one elementary school. When the high school was built, it was filled with her "little red ants."

In the book, football coach Elvis Hernandez is quoted as saying the school name prompts fans from opposing schools to greet his teams with signs of: "Got Raid?"

You have to remember -- historically, the local high school team was the focus of life in a community.

In some places, it still is.

During the Hurricane Rita evacuation, my wife and I stopped in Gainseville, Texas to fill her prescriptions. The hot topic of conversation between the pharmacy staff and the locals who were waiting to get their medication? That evening's homecoming game.





|| Greg, 02:30 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

What Sort Of Justice Would Alito Be

Eugene Volokh offers a great analysis of the opinions written by Samuel Alito as a Judge on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

What do we see here in Judge Alito? Not an O'Connor, Scalia or Rehnquist; rather, a judge with his own mix of conservatism, libertarianism and egalitarianism, a cautious jurist who seems likely to move the court toward a slightly more claimant-friendly view of free speech and religious freedom--and a slightly more government-friendly view of the Establishment Clause.

In other words, he will be a justice whose jurisprudence on First Amendment issues would be very close to my own views -- and, I believe, much closer to that of the Founders. Be sure to read this important article.





|| Greg, 02:13 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Bombing Bitch Confesses

Sajida al Rishaw is supposed to be dead now, killed in one of the homicide bombings in Jordan this week. She lives only because her bomb failed to detonate.

"We went into the hotel," she said. "He (my husband) took a corner and I took another.

"There was a wedding in the hotel. There were women and children.

"My husband executed the attack. I tried to detonate and it failed. People started running and I ran with them."

My suggested method of execution? Boil her alive in bacon grease as an example to every other Islamist who might think of killing the innocent in the name of their barbaric beliefs.

Thus always to the enemies of humanity.





|| Greg, 02:04 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 11, 2005

Plea Possibility Considered

Now I don’t consider this to be a big deal. If Tom DeLay could have made all of this go away via a misdemeanor plea to an obscure violation of campaign finance law, no one other than the most partisan Democrat would have considered it to be a substantial problem.

Lawyers for Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) tried unsuccessfully in late September to head off felony criminal indictments against the then-majority leader on charges of violating Texas campaign law by signaling that DeLay might plead guilty to a misdemeanor, according to four sources familiar with the events.

The lawyers' principal aim was to try to preserve DeLay's leadership position under House Republican rules that bar lawmakers accused of felonies from holding such posts. DeLay was forced to step down as leader on Sept. 28 after the first of two grand jury indictments.

The last-minute negotiations between the lawyers and Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle were arranged after DeLay made what Earle considered a seriously damaging admission about his fundraising activities during an Aug. 17 meeting with the prosecutor in Austin.

Now what was the “damaging admission”?

At that session, DeLay acknowledged that in 2002 he was informed about and expressed his support for transfers of $190,000 in mostly corporate funds from his Texas political action committee to an arm of the Republican National Committee in Washington and then back to Texas, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition that they not be named.

Those transfers are at the heart of the prosecutor's investigation of the alleged use of corporate funds in the 2002 Texas elections, in violation of state law. In the prosecutor's view, DeLay's admission put him in the middle of a conspiracy not only to violate that law but also to launder money.

Now the problem is that Earle is making a really big leap here – arguing that DeLay’s support for the move after it was underway constitutes a conspiracy.

Asked what his role was in creating TRMPAC, DeLay said it was his vision and his idea, the sources said. But he reiterated that he knew only in general terms about its day-to-day operations. DeLay said he was also generally aware of a plan to shift money between Texas and Washington. It called for pulling together $190,000, sending it up to Washington and getting the same amount sent back to Texas for state election campaigns.

According to matching accounts provided separately by the sources, DeLay was asked whether such a deal happened and responded yes. Asked if he knew beforehand that the deal was going to happen, DeLay said yes. Asked how he knew, DeLay said that his longtime political adviser, Ellis, came into his office, told him it was planned and asked DeLay what he thought. DeLay told Earle that he recalled saying, "Fine." He added that he knew it was corporate money but said it was fine because he thought it was legal.

In other words, DeLay did not conceive the plan, he took no part in implementing the plan, and his only response was to say he thought the plan was fine because he believed that the plan was legal – and based upon the practices of Democratic PACs in the state of Texas, that was a legitimate belief. I’d even be willing to bet that the plan had been thoroughly vetted with the group’s lawyers long before any transfers were made. But most importantly, there is clearly no evidence of intent to violate the law, nor of a desire to violate the law. Even more importantly, one would be hard pressed to make this acknowledgement into a conspiratorial move.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect is that Ronnie Earle wanted a guilty plea without either party being certain that the actions in question even constituted a crime.

The principal reason the deal foundered was that DeLay's attorneys wanted to postpone his plea until after the Texas appellate courts had ruled on the validity of the state election law provisions at issue, the sources said. Under their proposal, if the courts agreed the law was invalid, then all charges would be dismissed and the promise of a plea forgotten. For the two years it might take to resolve the issue, DeLay would be able to keep his post.

Earle insisted instead that DeLay enter a plea with the court immediately. He was willing only to defer punishment until appeals related to the validity of the law were exhausted; striking any other deal would show undue favoritism to DeLay, several sources said he argued. But DeLay's defense team felt such a decision would gravely damage the majority leader's political standing.

In other words, Earle wanted an admission of criminal conduct without there being a ruling on the proper manner of construing the statute. He was more concerned with getting the plea he wanted than with getting it right. That is clearly a sign of an unethical prosecutor who is out of control.

Linked to: My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Stop the ACLU, wizbang, Bright and Early, The Political Teen, Jo’s Cafe, Stuck on Stupid, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, Conservative Cat, MacStansbury, Something and Half of Stomething, Big Dog’s Weblog, Choose Life, Adam’s Blog, Third World County, Uncooperative Blogger, Point Five, Basil’s Blog, NIF, 10ft2ft.





|| Greg, 05:49 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Terrorist-Backer Threatens Ireland

Once again, an Islamist apologist for terror has attempted to dictate policy to a sovereign country via a threat of terrorism – and then denied that he ever made a threat.

Ireland is putting itself at risk of an attack from Islamic militants by allowing Gulf-bound U.S. military planes to refuel on the island, a leading radical British Muslim lawyer said on Friday.

Anjem Choudary, who is being investigated by Irish police over comments made during a university debate on Thursday evening, said media reports that he believed Ireland was a "legitimate" target were incorrect, however.

"I am not threatening the Irish, nor am I giving any veiled threats, but it seems that when a Muslim warns of potential danger then they are seen as terrorists and extremists," Choudary told Reuters by phone during a visit to Dublin.

"When politicians say the same thing, then it's considered to be political analysis and obviously it's no problem whatsoever."

According to Ireland's transport ministry, over 900 aircraft carrying U.S. military personnel or weapons landed in Ireland or used Irish airspace during the first nine months of this year.

Fine, Mr. Anjem, then hear this loud and clear. If you continue to threaten the well-being of non-Muslims, then you risk being smeared with bacon grease and lynched by outraged non-Muslims. I’m not saying that I believe you to be a legitimate target for such an attack, nor am I making a veiled threat – I’m simply offering an analysis of the possible consequences of your words and warning of the potential danger. I hope you don’t see me as a terrorist or extremist for offering that warning.





|| Greg, 05:47 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Stop The Racism! Stop The Sexism!

What would happen if a public university tried to set up a set of special program to provide lucrative fellowship to white or male students (or – horrors – exclusively to white males) to the exclusion of women and minorities? There would be howls of outrage, and the courts would shut down the program in a flash. What’s more, minority politicians like Barack Obama would be demanding investigations and criminal charges.

But when programs are set up which apply equally repulsive criteria to exclude whites or males based upon race or sex, these same race-baiters remain mute on the issue of discrimination – and attack those who demand equal treatment in the distribution of government benefits.

President Bush's administration has threatened to sue Southern Illinois University, alleging its fellowship programs for minority and female students violate federal civil rights laws by discriminating against whites, men and others.

In a move Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said "just doesn't make sense," the U.S. Justice Department charged that three SIU programs that aim to increase minority enrollment in graduate school exclude whites, other minorities and males, in violation of Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act.

"The University has engaged in a pattern or practice of intentional discrimination against whites, non-preferred minorities and males,'' says a Justice Department letter sent to the university last week and obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.
The letter demands the university cease the fellowship programs, or the department's civil rights division will sue SIU by Nov. 18.

The university, of course, is fighting – and claiming since there are other programs that allow for white men to get fellowship, the racially and sexually exclusive programs are acceptable. The problem is, though, that the programs that are open to white men are not limited to white men – they also allow the participation of those who are entitled to receive the exclusive awards – meaning that the programs allow those individuals to receive two bites at the apple while white men get only one – based only on race and sex.

Oh, and Obama went a bit further in his comments on the challenge to the program.

A spokesman for the Justice Department's civil rights division declined comment Thursday, but Illinois' junior U.S. senator ridiculed the maneuver as a "cynical" bid to distract public attention from Bush's sagging popularity.

"One of my concerns has been with all the problems the Bush administration is having, that they'll start resorting to what they consider to be wedge issues as a way of helping themselves politically," Obama said.

"If anything, the White House should be doing everything it can to encourage more engineering students and Ph.D.'s. It strikes me as a completely unnecessary and divisive move and one that I think may be pretty cynical in its motive," Obama said.

Hey, I agree – the White House should be encouraging more engineering students and Ph.D.’s. However, it must do so in a way that complies with the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution and the various and sundry civil rights laws of the nation. How, Senator, could you possibly defend these programs when the person in charge of them makes the following definitive statements regarding them?

Pat McNeil, an assistant dean and administrator of the Underrepresented Fellowships Office, said she knows of no white students who have applied for the Bridge or Proactive Recruitment programs.

The Web site describing the Bridge program specifically says it is only open to members of underrepresented minority groups. Several white women who have "overcome hardship" have been awarded the Graduate Dean's Fellowship, even though women outnumber men at the university. White men need not apply, however. "I'll be upfront with you -- no white male will get this award,'' McNeil said.

Got that, sir – “no white male will get this award.” You would be up in arms if the statement were “no black male will get this award.” The difference is, I’m up in arms over racial discrimination regardless of the race of the victim. You, on the other hand, are only concerned if it is your race getting unconstitutionally excluded from participation in government programs. That, sir, is rank hypocrisy.

Oh, yeah, about the comment that no white students had applied for two of the programs – could it be that the cause lies in the explicit exclusion of whites from the program? After all, who is going to apply for a program that states in the application packet that they will not be considered for selection?

MORE ON THIS TOPIC: LaShawn Barber, Discriminations, Infinitely Prolonged, Independent Conservative, Ed Driscoll, Free Will, Sofyst-ication, Smegmaster, Small Town Veteran, In The Agora, Red State, Marked Up, Holy Coast, IndyLaw, Dave Hayes, and Sensible Mom

La Shawn has what I think is the most compelling argument against programs like the one at SIU.

A government with the power to discriminate in favor of blacks also has the power to discriminate against blacks. Remember that.

Amen, my sister.

LINKED TO: My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Stop the ACLU, wizbang, Bright and Early, The Political Teen, Jo’s Cafe, Stuck on Stupid, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, Conservative Cat, MacStansbury, Something and Half of Stomething, Big Dog’s Weblog, Choose Life, Adam’s Blog, Third World County, Uncooperative Blogger, Point Five, Basil’s Blog, NIF, and 10ft2ft.



» Stuck On Stupid links with: Mary, Mary Quite Contrary Weekend Linkfest



|| Greg, 05:45 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (8) || Comments || TrackBacks (1) ||

What A Great Line!

I wish I had come up with this.

Professor Lino A. Graglia of the University of Texas School of Law compared the modern Supreme Court to Iran's "grand council of ayatollahs," which has the power to veto legislation at will. The court had become like Plato's "philosopher kings," Professor Graglia said, but worse: "Philosopher lawyers."

Could someone provide me with a link to Graglia’s entire speech?





|| Greg, 05:43 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 10, 2005

More Persecution In China

Once again, Bishop Julius Jia has been imprisoned for his faith. It is the eighth time in two years that the spiritual leaders of Catholics loyal to the Pope in the Diocese of Zheng Ding has been arrested.

The Chinese authorities have arrested a bishop belonging the underground Roman Catholic Church, a US group says.

The Cardinal Kung Foundation said Julius Jia Zhiguo was taken from his home in the northern city of Zhengding.

Two priests from his diocese - Li Suchuan and Yang Ermeng - were arrested on Monday.

In China, there is a state-sanctioned church for Roman Catholics, but there is also a bigger, unofficial church that is loyal to the Pope.

The foundation said the bishop had refused to cut links with the Vatican and affiliate himself with the state-controlled church.

Sanctions are a must in this instance. I urge the US government to end most favored nation trading status with the Red Chinese government. Furthermore, I join with the Cardinal Kung Foundation in urging that the International Olympic Committee move to cancel the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and to relocate the games to a free nation not under the thumb of a repressive dictatorship. The Communist regime in Beijing must be forced to respect the human right to freedom of religion.

Please offer your prayers for Bishop Jia, and also for Father Li Suchuan and Father Yang Ermeng, priests of Bishop Jia’s diocese, who were arrested the previous day and are believed imprisoned with their bishop.

May God strengthen them in this time of persecution, and may He hasten the day when all Chinese people may worship freely and without coercion from their atheistic overlords.





|| Greg, 06:07 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Sony Opens The Door To Hackers

It has only been about a week since Sony was caught installing system damaging software on computers without disclosing the nature of the program. Now it appears that they have left the door open to hackers, too.

A computer security firm said on Thursday it had discovered the first virus that uses music publisher Sony BMG's controversial CD copy-protection software to hide on PCs and wreak havoc.

Under a subject line containing the words "Photo approval," a hacker has mass-mailed the so-called Stinx-E trojan virus to British email addresses, said British anti-virus firm Sophos.

When recipients click on an attachment, they install malware, which may tear down a computer's firewall and give hackers access to a PC. The malware hides by using Sony BMG software that is also hidden -- the software would have been installed on a computer when consumers played Sony's copy-protected music CDs.

"This leaves Sony in a real tangle. It was already getting bad press about its copy-protection software, and this new hack exploit will make it even worse," said Sophos's Graham Cluley.

Later on Thursday, security software firm Symantec Corp. also discovered the first trojans to abuse the security flaw in Sony BMG's copy-protection software. A trojan is a program that appears desirable but actually contains something harmful.

Time for the law to take on this abusive business practice – and for civil courts to award serious damages.

And fortunately, the first civil suit has already been filed.

Sony BMG is facing three lawsuits over its controversial anti-piracy software.

Revealed in late October by Windows expert Mark Russinovich, the software copy protection system hides using virus-like techniques.

One class-action lawsuit has already been filed in California and another is expected in New York.

Digital rights group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), is also gathering information from users to see if a case can be brought.

Combined with the investigations by several governments, Sony may be in for a serious financial hit from which it may never recover.



» News, the Universe, and Everything links with: Sony’s DRM=Malware?



|| Greg, 06:05 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (1) ||

Terrorist Leader Roasting In Hell

And hopefully taking it rectally from 72 male virgins .

In what could be the biggest breakthrough in Southeast Asia's counter-terror campaign in more than two years, Indonesian police are set to confirm that the man behind the region's deadliest terrorist bombings is dead.

Australia, scores of whose citizens have been killed in Indonesian terror attacks, welcomed the news that Azahari bin Husin, a Malaysian, apparently committed suicide during a standoff with police at a house in East Java Wednesday.

Canberra conceded, however, that the battle against Islamist terror in the region would continue for years.

Three men were killed after they evidently detonated a large bomb, following a series of smaller explosions. DNA tests are pending, but Australian federal police commissioner Mick Keelty said Thursday Indonesian police were convinced the remains included those of Azahari.

The death of Azahari, described as the master bomb maker for the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah (JI) network, would be a major coup for Indonesia and the most significant success in Southeast Asia's fight against the group since the 2003 arrest in Thailand of JI operations chief, Hambali.

Azahari, a geophysics professor who trained at terrorist bases in Afghanistan and the southern Philippines, is believed to have succeeded Hambali, who is in U.S. military custody.

Indonesia and Australia hold him responsible for bombings in Bali in 2002 and again last month; on a Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in 2003; and outside the Australian Embassy in the city last year.

More than 250 people were killed in the four attacks, including 92 Australians, at least 72 Indonesians, and seven Americans.

Keep on cleaning out the scum, boys, and maybe we can see an end to Islamist terrorism.

And might I send a fond wish to Azahari in his new infernal home -- BURN, BABY, BURN!





|| Greg, 05:57 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Imagine The Outrage…

If this had been a conservative event. You know, a pro-life demonstration, a support the troops rally, or a campaign event for a proposition to ban gay marriage.

But it wasn't. It was a rally against the president, against the war, and against the troops, sponsored by a bunch of Communists.

World Can't Wait -- an anti-Bush, anti-war group, recently staged nationwide protests. The organization coordinated rallies in Chicago, Seattle, New York, San Francisco -- and Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Unified School District took things a step further. The district helpfully agreed to provide buses -- that's right, buses -- as well as "adult supervision" to the nearly 800 high school students who walked out of 10 high schools. District officials said they thought it best to provide adults and transportation, since, you know, the kids intended to go to the rally, anyway. "Our issue . . . was safety," said the district's chief operating officer, "and I think we fulfilled our mission, frankly."

But this must have been OK – there were no conservatives in sight, the event supported anti-American values, and its not like LAUSD students learn anything during the school day anyway – after all, roughly 70% of students fall below the national average on standardized tests.





|| Greg, 05:55 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Sanctuary Suit

He was in the US illegally, but the Austin PD cut the guy loose after investigating him for child molestation. Two years later, David Diaz Morales broke into the home of 18-year-old former co-worker Jenny Garcia Hayden and stabbed her to death.

Garcia Hayden's parents think Austin police knew Diaz was a Mexican citizen living in the country illegally and should have called immigration authorities.

"What happened (to Jenny) happened because he was illegally in the country and was not deported," Garcia said.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Austin, names Police Chief Stan Knee and Assistant Chief Rudy Landeros as defendants.

It claims the city and police department have illegal policies that restrict employees from communicating with federal authorities about the immigration status of people in Austin.

The suit seeks a court order to prevent such restrictions by the city.
The city's lawyer, Anne Morgan, said Austin doesn't have a policy to prohibit employees from calling immigration officials.

The City Council has approved a resolution labeling Austin a "safety zone" where all people "are treated equally, with respect and dignity regardless of immigration status," Morgan added.

Given this is Austin, it is likely that the order was given that officers not report border-jumpers and over-stayers encountered during the course of ordinary police work. As a result, a girl is dead.

It is time for the courts to give the order that all immigration criminals be reported to immigration authorities by police.





|| Greg, 05:53 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Al-Qaeda Attacks Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Well, al-Zarqawi has turned on his homeland, and its ruler, King Abdullah.

Three nearly simultaneous bomb blasts tore through hotels here Wednesday night, killing more than 50 people and sending fear and panic through the streets of the normally tranquil city.

Jordanian authorities immediately shut down many of the capital's main roads and deployed dozens of ambulances, police cars and military vehicles to help evacuate the wounded to a half-dozen overflowing hospitals. The country's land borders were closed about an hour after the attacks.

At least one American was among those killed in the bombings and at least two others were wounded, the U.S. Embassy in Amman reported Thursday.
Al Qaeda in Iraq, a group headed by Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for the bombings in a statement posted Thursday on the Internet.

The statement said the attacks were carried out by "a group of lions" from the organization, the major foreign-led insurgent group fighting in neighboring Iraq. "After studying and observing the targets, the places of execution were chosen to be some hotels that the tyrant of Jordan has turned into a backyard for the enemies of Islam, such as the Jews and crusaders," the statement said.

Jordanians are furious, and do not support the attack on their nation by Islamists.

After the claim of responsibility, hundreds of angry Jordanians rallied outside one of three bombed hotels Thursday, the Associated Press reported. The demonstrators shouted slogans such as, "Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!

Interestingly enough, this attack comes on an Arab state that is ruled by members of the family of Muhammad himself, Islam’s founding prophet.

King Abdullah is a 43rd generation descendant of the Prophet. Who, then, is better to determine the proper teachings of Islam and the proper way of life for a Muslim– the descendant of Muhammad, or a gang of upstart terrorists who murder indiscrimiantely?





Stupid Reporter

Jack Kelly of Irish Pennants points out this "minor" error by CNN's Carol Lin.

Hard to say because it's been 11 days since two African- American teenagers were killed, electrocuted during a police chase, which prompted all of this.

Uh -- they weren't American, Carol.





|| Greg, 05:46 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

From The "Stating The Obvious" File

I mean, who in their right mind would have thought that Weddington would have supported any GOP nominee?

The attorney who won the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established abortion rights says she will likely oppose Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court, but is still studying his writings and opinions before taking a formal position.

"At this point, I will assume I will eventually come out against him," Sarah Weddington said Wednesday after a speech at Ohio State University. "The question we have to ask is, would we want to live in an America he would envision?"

Alito voted for a Pennsylvania decision that would have required a married woman to consult with her husband before seeking an abortion — a ruling that retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor voted with the majority to strike down.

Abortion will be a key topic at Alito's confirmation hearings in January. Alito, 55, recently told senators in a private meeting that he had "great respect" for the precedent set by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade but did not commit to upholding it.

I'm not sure what Judge Alito would do with Roe, as he has given mixed signals on the issue. But given that Weddington is one of the most extreme advocates of unrestricted, government-funded abortion on demand, wqhy would any person expect her to do other thna oppose any nominee to the right of Ruth Bader Ginsburg?





|| Greg, 05:26 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Texas Say No T.O.

I've got season tickets for the Houston Texans, so I would be glad to see Bob McNair's franchise do just about anything to improve fromthe dismal 1-7 start that we have seen this year.

But signing Terrell Owens is something that would make me walk away fromt eh four-season-old franchise. He is a malignant influence upon the game of football.

So it is with great relief that I read this from the Houston Chronicle.

Texans owner Bob McNair would love to have a chance to acquire a lot of NFL players to help solve his problems, but Philadelphia receiver Terrell Owens is not one of them.

During a break in preparations for Sunday's game at unbeaten Indianapolis, McNair was asked if he would consider signing Owens once Philadelphia has washed its hands of him.

"He's almost dismantled the Eagles; why would you wish that on us?" McNair said with a laugh. "I've already got enough problems."

The Texans are 1-7 and in need of help at a lot of positions, but McNair wouldn't consider the controversial Owens, who has been suspended for four games by the Eagles and was placed on the reserve/suspended list Wednesday.

Owens is hoping an independent arbitrator will rule that he can play this season — if not for the Eagles then for another team.

"Some things can overcome talent, and he's figured out how to do that," McNair said. "Football's a team sport, and when a player thinks he's more important than the team, it's just not going to work."

Amen, Bob. The last thing we need is the arrival of T.O. and his Circus of Self-Promotion here in Houston.





|| Greg, 05:21 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 09, 2005

Terrorist-Spawning Bitch Slams America

I understand a mother’s grief at the likely execution of her son. But I’m sorry, the fault lies with her son and the hate-filled value system he learned at his mother’s knee and in the Islamist mosques the family frequented, not with the US. After all, this Canadian family is closely connected to Osama bin Laden, a fact long known and acknowledged by the Canadian government. Every male member of the family, in fact, has fought for al-Qaeda.

The mother of a Canadian teenager charged with murder and held at Guantanamo Bay accused Americans of acting like gods Tuesday and slammed Ottawa for doing nothing to help her son.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Maha Elsamnah lashed out at both Washington and Canada's federal government over the detention and treatment of her Toronto-born son, Omar Khadr, 19, who faces the death penalty if convicted by a special U.S. military tribunal. "The Americans are gods now," Elsamnah said from her east-end Toronto home.

"The Americans can do anything. They make the law. Nobody can tell them anything. Nobody can disagree with them."

What did this poor boy do? He merely tossed a hand grenade at American soldiers in Afghanistan, killing one and wounding another. This Islamist sow should be thankful that her son has lived this long in the relative comfort and luxury of Guantanamo Bay at American expense, instead of being killed and left to be consumed by vultures. After all, an American medic saved him instead of letting him die from his wounds. Terrorist scum have no rights that the civilized are bound to respect – but we allow them limited protections because we choose to be better than them.

Mama Maha sits in Canada demanding the Canadian government do something for her Canada-born son. I agree – the Canadian government should pay for the bullets with which this little Islamofascist is executed, and the bacon grease in which they are dipped before the execution takes place.





|| Greg, 08:10 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Breaking Into A New Routine

Sounds like Chief Justice John Roberts is getting into the swing of things on the Court, with a bit of help from his new colleagues.

At the end of the first week of the Supreme Court's new term, the justices assembled to discuss the week's cases, and, following protocol, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. stated his own views first. Then, in keeping with the court's tradition for the justices-only conference, the new chief called on the others, one by one.

He did so in order of seniority, referring to his colleagues in the most formal terms. First, "Justice Stevens," followed by "Justice O'Connor" and then "Justice Scalia."

Justice Antonin Scalia interrupted. "I will always call you Chief," he said. "But to you, I'm Nino, and this is Sandra, and this is John."

This vignette, described by Justice Clarence Thomas at a judicial conference in Colorado Springs late last month, is deliciously revealing of a Supreme Court in the midst of a generational shift.

A classy move by Scalia – but also one that is a necessity for a younger man joining a select group as not merely an equal, but as the senior among them.

Enjoy the Linda Greenhouse piece this anecdote comes from – it tells us how Roberts is touched by this change, and how his coming has lightened the mood of the Court.





|| Greg, 08:09 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Just A Reminder – No Freedom In China

The exercise of severals human right has resulted in the imprisonment of a Chinese pastor.

A prominent pastor in Beijing's underground Protestant church was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison for illegally printing and distributing Bibles and other religious books, in a case that has attracted attention from Christian groups in the United States and elsewhere.

The Beijing People's Intermediate Court handed down the sentence immediately after it convicted Cai Zhuohua, 34, of conducting "illegal business practices," said his attorney, Zhang Xingshui. Two co-defendants were also convicted and sentenced to prison, he said.

Why such outrageous conduct by the Chinese government?

"Objectively speaking, religion is a breakthrough point for Western anti-China forces to Westernize and split China," said Ye Xiaowen, director of the State Bureau of Religious Affairs. But he said that did not mean all religious problems should be considered "infiltration," adding "there is no so-called persecution of religious people" in China.

The silence of the Left is deafening. I guess they are too busy wailing and gnashing teeth over Gitmo Islamists to be troubled by the persecution of Christians for engaging in crimes that would generally be recognized as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion in civilized countries.





|| Greg, 08:08 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

By Liberal Standards, There Must Be A Crime

One of the pre-eminent “truths” anti-American Leftists have put forward in the Wilson-Plame affair is that a CIA referral to the Justice Department is proof that a crime has been committed – and that someone has committed treason. I’ve argued against this absurd notion on Leftist sites over the last couple years that this is not so, as a request for an investigation proves nothing. Leftists, of course, reject that argument because it is politically convenient for them to do so.

So, without further ado, let us note that a crime has been committed in the leaking of reports of secret prisons abroad, and that the Washington Post cooperated in treason by printing the story.

The Central Intelligence Agency has asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation to determine the source of a Washington Post article that said the agency had set up a covert prison network in Eastern Europe and other countries to hold important terrorism suspects, government officials said on Tuesday.

The C.I.A.'s request, known as a crimes report or criminal referral, means that the Justice Department will undertake a preliminary review to determine if circumstances justify a criminal inquiry into whether any government official unlawfully provided information to the newspaper. The possibility of this new investigation follows by less than two weeks the perjury and obstruction indictment of I. Lewis Libby Jr., then Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, in a leak case involving other news reporting about a national security issue.

Republican leaders in Congress also jumped into the matter over The Post's article, asking the Intelligence Committees of the House and the Senate on Tuesday to investigate whether classified material had been disclosed. At the same time, the Senate rejected a Democratic call for an independent commission that would conduct an investigation into claims of abuses of detainees in American custody.

Eric C. Grant, a spokesman for the newspaper, said it would have no comment on the new developments concerning its article. A spokesman for the C.I.A. said a crimes report had indeed been sent to the Justice Department but would not otherwise comment.

The front-page article, published last Wednesday, said the agency had set up secret detention centers in as many as eight countries in the last four years.

Surely the Left will now demand the prosecution of all involved Washington Post employees for the crime of disclosing this classified information – and the shutting down of the paper for engaging in treasonous activities.

Or are they just a bunch of hypocrites?





|| Greg, 08:07 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Gay-Bashing With A Proper Ending For Perp -- And The Wrong One For The Victim

Regardless of my beliefs about the moral acceptability of homosexual activity, I have great respect for most gay men and women I know – and a great respect for the inherent dignity of every person regardless of sexual orientation. That’s why I find the outcome of this attempted gay-bashing to be quite satisfying up to a point, and outrageous in an entirely different sense

Lucas Dawson had just returned from an audition for "American Idol," and planned to tell his friends all about his experience on Oct. 29.

But while walking to the bus stop to catch a ride downtown, around 10:30 that Saturday evening, Dawson ran into four teenagers less than one block from his East Mount Airy home.

"They started calling him 'faggot,' saying 'You're gay,' stuff like that," said David Dawson, Lucas' stepfather.

Lucas Dawson crossed the street, near Upsal and Musgrave, to avoid trouble, but he later told his family, the group threw a basketball at him, rushed him, and started pummeling him.

"One of them punched him in the mouth," David Dawson said. "They knocked him to the ground. They kicked him. They stomped him. They called him faggot."

Dawson, 21, of Upsal Street near Magnolia, managed to get to his feet, and he pulled out a small pocket knife. He waved it at the crowd a few times, David Dawson said, trying to push them back.

Then, he ran.

Gerald Knight, 17, allegedly followed and then reached out to grab Dawson, who still had the knife in his hand.

During the ensuing struggle, Dawson plunged the knife into Knight's chest.
Knight, of Hortter Street near Chew Avenue, died at Einstein Medical Center less than an hour later, police said.

Sounds like justice to me, an act of self-defense that should be applauded. But instead, Dawson is facing voluntary manslaughter charges in Knight’s death. And since his family could not raise bail, Dawson has spent a week in jail for protecting himself from further assault. If convicted, the only real victim this incident could face 30 years in jail.

What’s more, the other assailants have already made it clear that they intend to crry out further violence against their victim.

One of the other teens told him, "Now we're going to have to shoot you."

Lisa Dawson said that even if the charges are dropped, she fears for her son's safety.

"I don't feel like he can come back home," she said. "There are three people out there who already made a threat."

I cannot tell from the article, but it seems like the real criminals in this incident remain free and have no charges pending.

The sad reality is that this whole situation could have been avoided if the government still believed that law-abiding free men and women have the right to defend themselves in the face of a vicious assault. And true justice in this case would have been done if Luca Dawson had been carrying a sidearm of size to have put down all four rabid animals who assaulted him whether the cause was his sexuality, robbery, or just plain old evil.





|| Greg, 07:49 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Who Cares What The Democrats Want?

Remind these folks that the power to pardon is a presidential prerogative established by the Constitution – and that their advice and consent is neither required nor desired.

The Senate's top Democrats challenged President Bush on Tuesday to rule out a pardon for I. Lewis Libby, a former top White House aide who faces trial on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury in the CIA leak case.

"We also urge you to state publicly whether anyone in the White House - including White House counsel Harriet Miers or Vice President Cheney - has already discussed the possibility of a pardon with Mr. Libby," added the letter, signed by Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and three other members of the leadership.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan declined to rule out a pardon when asked about the issue by reporters before Democrats sent their letter. "I'm not going to discuss an ongoing legal proceeding. And I'm not going to speculate about any matters relating to it," he said.

At a news conference, Reid launched an extraordinary attack on Cheney, whom he said had been involved in the "manipulation of intelligence to sell the war in Iraq" as well as "leaking classified information to discredit White House critics."
He challenged the president in personal terms, urging him to "avoid falling in the footsteps of his father who pardoned six men, some were convicted, some were indicted in the Iran-Contra scandal."

I’ll half agree with Half-Truth Harry Reid on this matter. The President does need to learn from his father. But the lesson needs to be that he should not give in to Democrat demands – for if he does, their attacks will continue and they will add criticism of his weakness to his list of faults.

And Mr. President, I urge you to pardon Scooter Libby – on November 5, 2008, as the final votes are counted for the election of your successor. Do not leave this loyal American twisting in the wind for a manufactured crime that resulted from an investigation of a legal activity.





|| Greg, 07:45 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

White Feminist Hypocrisy

Who are the feminists – those who stand up for the dignity of women, or those who make the claim but defend their oppression by backwards cultures in the name of “diversity”?

EACH time Germaine Greer visits Australia - such as last week when she turned up at the University of Sydney to receive her honorary doctorate - one is reminded how Western feminists have dropped the ball on what really matters on the feminist front.

Greer's feminism is the worst example of Western indulgence.
It's not so much what she says that matters - for it's all rather farcical these days - but what she and other so-called feminists do not say that betrays how feminism has lost its way.

On Friday Greer told her audience: "The intellect is a little bit like sexual ability: use it or you lose it." True enough and nice work if you can get it. But hardly cutting-edge feminism at work there.

Back in late 2002, Greer was back on the soapbox in Australia lambasting the medical profession for imposing unnecessary medical tests on women, such as pap smears and mammograms.
When asked about the impending war in Iraq, Greer suggested that women protest by dressing up in burkas. Go girl! Don the preferred garb of Islamic oppression to protest against what exactly? The continued oppression of women in countries such as Iraq?

Last Friday while Greer was preaching about the importance of knowledge for knowledge's sake, in New York another feminist was delivering a more sobering message. Last week Mukhtaran Mai, a 33-year-old Pakistani woman, collected an award for "her incredible courage and optimism in the face of terrible violence".

Mai was gang-raped by five men on the order of a Pakistani tribal council in 2002 as punishment for her brother's alleged love affair with a woman from another tribe. This illiterate and working-class young woman then did the unthinkable. She took her grievance to court.

A near impossible task in Pakistan where Hudood laws - a series of Islamic decrees applied in conjunction with the country's secular laws - mean that if a woman is raped, a conviction requires four adult male witnesses or the rapist confessing. If sex is held to be consensual, the woman can be charged with zina - extramarital sex - illegal under Hudood laws. In Mai's case, the five rapists were duly acquitted. While the Pakistan Supreme Court has suspended those acquittals, it remains to be seen whether the perpetrators will be punished.

When Mai received $US2500 ($3400) in compensation from the Government for her ordeal, she immediately used that money to build a school for young girls. Through a translator this shy young woman, dressed in a headscarf and flowing robes, told her glittering New York audience that her goal was to end oppression through education. Spot the feminist. Mai or Greer?

Really – one mouths meaningless platitudes against the West, while the other steps up on behalf of women. Why aren’t the feminists cheering the destruction of patriarchal systems of oppression in Iraq and Afghanistan? Oh, that’s right – to do so would require taking a positive view of America – and conservative Americans in particular.

And then there is this Australian atrocity.

Who can forget the footage of the Chief Justice from the Northern Territory descending on the Yarralin community. He took his courtroom to the indigenous community to sentence a 55-year-old Yarralin man for bashing and raping a 14-year-old girl.

The anal rape of a crying, screaming child saw the man go to prison for just one month because the girl was promised to the man under customary indigenous law. And who were the leading critics of this case? Chris Ellison (a white man), Warren Mundine (a black man) and a few indigenous women. But where was the white feminist outcry?

Now had this been a Catholic priest, these same feminists would have been outraged. But let it be someone following the morally corrupt and backwards social customs of an ethnic minority commit such a crime and the white feminist matriarchs stand mute. After all, they would argue, who are we to judge. Their “blowin’ in the wind” values make it impossible for them to label wrong as wrong when the perpetrator has a higher VQ (Victimization Quotient) than they do. After all, that would make them oppressors – and so they remain mute in the face of the violent sexual assault of a child.





|| Greg, 07:42 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Brains Of Men, Women Act Differently – Scientists Surprised

I could have told you this, and saved you the cost of the study.

Stanford University researchers have determined humor is processed differently in the brains of men and women, and women get more enjoyment from it.

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, psychiatrist Dr. Allan Reiss, who led the study, explained magnetic resonance imaging was used to detect blood rushing into active areas of the brain. The heads of each of the 20 volunteers were carefully restrained so as not to jiggle and blur the image if the person laughed, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reported.

The study found that when looking at funny cartoons, women activated the language parts of their brains more than men did. Their reward centers also lit up more intensely, possibly because they didn`t expect the cartoons to be as funny as the men did, and so felt more intense pleasure when they got the punch line.

Reiss said if women react more intensely to funny things, 'could that also imply that they process negative stimuli, stressful stimuli, in a different way? It`s definitely worth following up.'

Ask any guy who has been married for more than two or three weeks if men and women view humor (or anything else) differently. We learn that one the hard way, as jokes fall flat and the wives attempt to get us to watch reruns of Britcoms on PBS.

But then again, why should we be surprised that academic scientists spend wads of cash studying the obvious?





|| Greg, 07:40 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Message To T.O.

Well, well, Terrell – I see contrition comes late, and only after you’ve been told that the Eagles plan on sidelining your sorry, self-centered, arrogant butt for the rest of the season. No TV time, no on-field heroics, not highlight reels for you, not unless you can get yourself back into the good graces of Coach Reid, your teammates, and the Eagles management.

In your statement, you almost sounded sorry for your words and actions.

"I fight for what I think is right. In doing so, I alienated a lot of my fans and my teammates," Owens said, reading a statement outside his house outside Philadelphia.

No, let’s tell it like it is. You fight for Terrell Owens, for his press clippings and his personal satisfaction. Right has nothing to do with it. After all, we all know that Andy Reid is a straight-shooter, and look at what he said.

The decision resulted from "a large number of situations that accumulated over a long period of time, during which Terrell had been warned repeatedly about the consequences of his actions," Reid said.

Wanna know what you can do to make yourself beloved among fans and make it clear you are willing to sacrifice for the team? Here it is – demand that the team renegotiate your contract. Insist that you will not take a penny OVER the league minimum for the rest of the season. Demand that the contract drop any and all incentive bonuses beyond those tied to TEAM accomplishments, such as playoff and Super Bowl appearances. Include a gag order on yourself until training camp next year. In other words, make an entirely self-effacing move to show that you are really all about the game, not all about T.O.; prove to us that you recognize that you recognize that the game is more important than any one player.

Maybe then you will convince some of us that you are worth caring about or cheering for. Otherwise you will just b one more piece of rubbish cast by the roadside – talented, but too unstable and self-important to fit on the playing field with 10 other guys in the same-colored jersey.





|| Greg, 07:35 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 08, 2005

My Endorsements – Texas Amendments

There are nine proposed constitutional amendments on the Texas ballot today. Here is my take on them.

Prop 1 – Creating a rail relocation and improvement fund.

NO – This is a private sector responsibility, not something that is the responsibility of the government.

Prop 2 – Defining marriage as one man and one woman.

YES – This keeps Texas from becoming Massachusetts.

Prop 3 – Declaring certain economic development programs don’t create government debt.

NO – The courts are at work on this one, which is really a fix for one program near Austin – let the case resolve the issue before acting.

Prop 4 – Denies bail for accused felons who have already broken the condition of their bail.

YES – Duh!

Prop 5 – Allowing the legislature determine the interest rate that constitutes usury in commercial loans.

YES – This would allow for Texas banks to make commercial loans to Texas companies in a fashion competitive with out of state banks.

Prop 6 – Adding members to the State Judicial Conduct Commission.

YES – This gives representation to one more type of judge governed by the Commission, and to an additional citizen. Seems reasonable to me.

Prop 7 – Authorizing reverse mortgages.

YES – This will allow for better financial planning by older Texans, and allow them to make use of the value of their primary asset – their home.

Prop 8 – Relinquishing state claims to certain land due to a surveying error.

YES – An error was made some 170 years ago in a survey. It went unnoticed until a couple of years ago. Any state claim would be little more than theft, given that everyone has relied on a common understanding of the lines that predates the erroneous survey.

Prop 9 – Staggering terms of members of regional mobility authority board members.

YES – While I’d rather see these unelected government agencies abolished, staggering the terms seems reasonable. After all, we saw a power grab here in Houston several years ago by a former mayor. This would prevent such a mess.





|| Greg, 06:59 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 07, 2005

Persecuted Church Blogging

dop.jpg

As you know, Christians around the world are facing serious persecution on a daily basis. Those of us in America are comparatively well-off, given the nature of the persecution elsewhere.

The most important thing you can do for these persecuted brothers and siters around the world is pray.

Stacy over at Voice of the Martyrs' PersecutionBlog points out these three reasons for participating in the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, which takes place on November 13.

Out of obedience?

Yes: Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3 (NIV)
See also Galatians 6:2; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; Ephesians 6:18

Out of compassion?

Yes: Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:30 (NLT)
See also 2 Corinthians 1:8-11; Matthew 22:39

Out of zeal for the kingdom and glory of God?

Absolutely! Pray then like this: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' Matthew 6:9-10. (ESV)
See also Psalm 22:27; Psalm 110:1; Isaiah 42:1-4 & 55:10-13; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Hebrews 10:13

I encourage all my readers to become involved in the ministry of prayer for the persecuted church -- and to urge other Christians you know to do the same.





|| Greg, 11:26 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

The winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Wilson-CIA Cover Up? by The Strata-Sphere, and And Another Thing by Cathy's World.  You can access the full results of the vote over at the weekly announcement post.

I truly have mixed emotions about the winning piece among the non-council entries. I nominated Cathy for consideration, believing she had written a piece of deep seriousness -- but regret terribly that life presented the situation about which she wrote. Know, Cathy, that you are in my prayers, that God may strengthen you in every way as you fight this battle.





|| Greg, 11:01 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

But I Thought Segregation Was A Bad Thing

I guess not, if it gets special resources for the few of a darker hue.

The Chicago school district plans to open an all-boys high school primarily for black teenagers.

The Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men must be approved by the Board of Education this month, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Mayor Richard Daley plans to open 100 schools in the city in the next five years. Plans for the next two years include a virtual elementary school, a high school operated by the University of Chicago and a high school stressing business entrepreneurship.

Urban Prep would be located inside Englewood High School. Backers say it is aimed at a group that has the lowest graduation rate of any in the city.

"We're going to take our students where they are and help them gain admission to college and succeed once they are there," said Tim King, the founder of Urban Prep. "Clearly there is a high need for figuring out how to serve these kids academically."

I’m all for getting students – of every race or ethnicity – prepared for success in life. Heck, that is what my career is about. But I am concerned any time we set up programs that include a race or ethnicity based admissions formula or criteria.





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November 06, 2005

Not Your Parents' Sex Ed

Before I started teaching, I never considered the possibility that it could happen.

But it does.

It has even happened a few times at the school where I teach over the years. They hauled a 18-year-old football player out in handcuffs when they caught him on the stage with his 14-year-old girlfriend my first year there. During the height of Monica-gate, the girls basketball team walked into the gym for practice and found a couple doing the Full Lewinsky. And then there was last spring, when a somewhat shaken student returned from girls restroom and informed me that there were two girls engaged in "hot lesbian action" in the handicapped stall.

I assumed that such incidents were rare, and could be accounted for by the huge enrollment at our school (grades 9-12 have grown from 3300 to 3900 in the last decade). But it seems like it is getting more and more common -- and that some kids don't even find it shocking.

Perhaps the most shocking thing about students having sex in a high school auditorium was that other students didn't find it very shocking at all.

"I glanced over and, whatever, I just let him continue on with his business," said a 16-year-old linebacker on the Osbourn High School football team who, along with a friend, stumbled upon a couple engaging in oral sex. "I stayed for five to eight minutes, just talking. We weren't worried about it. When the janitor came in, everyone started running."

Manassas school officials weren't as laid back. The students -- eight in all -- were quickly identified and suspended, and the matter prompted the small school system to confront an issue many adults would rather not face: in this case, two girls and three boys engaging in oral sex or intercourse on school property while three other boys watched, according to sources familiar with what happened.

"In all the years that I've been in education, I've never run into this one before," said John Boronkay, the school system's acting superintendent. "It's a new one."

Actually, it's not so new. According to some teenagers, sex on school property is more frequent than adults might imagine. And some adults who work with teenagers said it's happening more often these days.

There's anecdotal evidence to support that:

Two students were discovered recently having sex in an Anne Arundel County high school gym. Four students at Col. Zadok Magruder High in Rockville were arrested in June after performing sex acts in the school parking lot. A boy and a girl at Springbrook High in Silver Spring were caught "touching inappropriately" in a school bathroom. Last year, three teenage boys at Mount Hebron High in Howard County were arrested after a student accused them of sexually assaulting her in a school restroom, but charges were dropped after the boys said the sex was consensual and the girl recanted.

"Students would have intercourse on the stairwells, locked classrooms, in the locker rooms," said Ihsan Musawwir, 18, a recent graduate of Dunbar Senior High School in the District. "It was embarrassing for me to walk in on it."

Jessica Miller, 19, who graduated in June from T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, said that for some students there, sex on campus is a popular fantasy -- and sometimes a reality -- particularly in the auditorium.

"It's so big, it's so dark," Miller said. "There's a lot more places to find privacy -- behind the stage and on the catwalk."

But what's the appeal? "Just being rebellious," she said. "Coming back to class and saying, 'Ooh, guess what I just did? I just had sex in the auditorium.' "

Deborah Roffman, a Baltimore-based sexuality educator, said she has been hearing more about similar occurrences in the past five years. "Schools are calling me, asking, 'What do we do? We've had this incident at our school.' "

The fact that teenagers have sex is well established: Roughly half of all 15- to 19-year-olds have had vaginal intercourse, and more than half have had oral sex, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But getting a handle on the reasons students are emboldened to risk having sex at school is as tricky as figuring out how many are doing it. Musawwir, the Dunbar graduate, who has helped lead teen forums on sex, said she thinks students have sex in school because they have nowhere else to go. "And it's the thrill of getting caught or not. And the media has a lot of things to do with it. They think that if they see it on TV, they can get away with it in real life."

What is shocking is that many schools are finding out that they don't even have such situations covered in their handbook or district policies.

Many schools don't have rules specifically banning sex on campus but punish students who do it through a clause prohibiting "immoral conduct" or behavior that offends the community's morals, said Naomi Gittins, a staff attorney at the National School Boards Association. Gittins added that more specific policies would make it easier for schools to defend themselves against legal challenges.

Gotta love that -- the rules are needed not to prevent exploitation, not to encourage proper behavior, not to encourage morality, but rather to use as a legal shield! Where are our priorities?

So, folks, what do you think? Do your really believe that it isn't happening at your schools? Do you really think it isn't your kids? And what would do you think should be done?



» Watcher of Weasels links with: Submitted for Your Approval
» Watcher of Weasels links with: The Council Has Spoken!



|| Greg, 05:46 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (2) ||

Shooting Tips For Morons

Ian Robinson of the Calgary Sun offers this tip to all those gangbangers who think that its "cool" to hold their guns sideways while shooting, lust like they do in the movies.

NOTE TO MORONS: The front and back sights of a weapon are on the top of the barrel so that you can use them to hit the target. You hold the thing sideways, and you don't know what you're going to hit. Plus the spent cartridge ejects from the weapon and flies backwards. You hold it properly, it goes over your right shoulder. Do it the way they do it in the movies, and it catches you in the centre of your forehead.

Can you say ouch, moron?

I'd encourage you to read the whole article, which delves into such issues as gun ownership, regulation of shooting ranges, and the social acceptability of owning a gun in the People's Republic of Kanuckistan. It makes for a great laugh -- and for some serious thought.





|| Greg, 05:28 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Letter Of Import

I started reading Dear Abby as a kid, and have long continued to do so for entertainemnt value.

This letter, though, is much more important.

It praises those men and women who work to save the lives of those wounded in the service of our country -- and is from a person who knows.

Dear Abby:

Q: I was a soldier serving in Iraq. Last April, I was in a vehicular accident while part of a military convoy and was medevaced to the nearest medical treatment facility.

I didn't mind sharing the trauma room with the Marine who had arrived there before me. He had been shot three times in the face. While I was in the room with this brave Marine, the trauma crew fought valiantly to save his life. He flat-lined seven times in just the short period after I got there. Finally, the doctor told them it was over, and they covered him up. I never knew his name. I lay on my litter while they started to work on my arm, which had been pinned under the truck during my accident and crushed, crying silently for the life that had been lost.

I'm writing this to you, Abby, to let that Marine's parents and friends know how hard the doctors and crew fought to save his life. Besides the medical crew, I'm the only one who knows. He wasn't just a face or a name on a memorial to them. He was a life, and many people tried hard to keep him alive. If he had been my child, I would want to know.

ANOTHER SOLIDER, Clarksville, Tenn.

Dear Soldier:

A: Thank you for your letter and for taking the time to share the last moments of life of that Marine. I'm sure your feelings are shared by all of the parents who have lost sons and daughters in this war, as well as the parents of those whose lives are on the line every day they serve on active duty.

I, too, thank you for sharing this, and for your efforts on behalf of freedom.





|| Greg, 09:07 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

China -- The Human Rights Ghetto

The Washingtn Post's story on the shutdown of a lawfirm run by an outspoken activist in favor of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and economic rights illustrates just how far the People's Republic of China needs to progress before it can be considered a civilized nation.

Judicial authorities in Beijing have shut down the law firm of a prominent civil rights lawyer after he refused to withdraw an open letter urging President Hu Jintao to respect freedom of religion and stop persecuting members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement.

Gao Zhisheng, among the most daring of a generation of self-trained lawyers who have been pushing the Chinese government to obey its own laws, said that the Beijing Bureau of Justice ordered his firm suspended for one year on Friday. The move came just hours after he filed an appeal on behalf of an underground Protestant pastor accused of illegally printing Bibles and other Christian literature.

According to Gao, the government said the firm was being suspended because it had failed to register with the authorities after moving into a new office this year. But he said the action followed his refusal to renounce the open letter to Hu and withdraw from politically sensitive cases as demanded by officials during a series of recent meetings.

Gao said that his firm notified the government when it moved but that officials refused to let the firm register at the new address.

"We're very angry," Gao said by phone Saturday. "By doing this, the Chinese Communist Party is demonstrating it defies all laws, human and divine. They are saying that anyone who believes in law, who criticizes the political system, who exposes crimes against the people, will be targeted."

You've got to love it -- the government will not allow the registration, and then shuts them down for failing to register. And the real offense? Supporting the right of a pastor to minister to those in his flock and to print religious material without government interfrence. Despite alleged reforms in the legal system and supposed relaxation of religious persecution, it is clear that nothing substantive has really changed in Red China.

Gao, of course, has done a bit more than that. he has also investigated other acts of religious persecution -- including those directed at Falun Gong

In an Oct. 18 letter addressed to Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao that he posted on the Internet and distributed widely by e-mail, Gao described several cases he had investigated involving Falun Gong practitioners who have been detained, sent to labor camps and tortured. In one case, he said, a man was hanged from overhead pipes until his legs rotted.

In another case, he said, police tracked down and arrested a practitioner, a college sophomore, after he posted a note on the Internet announcing his resignation from the Communist Youth League.

Under the direction of Hu's predecessor, Jiang Zemin, the Chinese government in July 1999 banned Falun Gong as an "evil cult" and has all but crushed it in an often violent campaign involving the arrests of thousands of people. As practitioners have been released from labor camps in recent years, Gao said, the government has renewed its brutal campaign.

"The persecution of Falun Gong compatriots by some local officials has already reached the point where they are doing whatever they please," Gao wrote in the open letter. "We cannot accept these brazenly inhumane, savage atrocities to occur in the society of mankind in the 21st century."

"This evil catastrophe did not begin with you, but the catastrophe has continued while you two have led the government," he told Hu and Wen.

Gao also urged the government to accept that a revival of religious faith in China was inevitable. In addition to working on behalf of Falun Gong members, Gao is one of several lawyers who have volunteered to defend Cai Zhuohua, the pastor of a house church in Beijing who has been jailed on charges of "illegal business practices" for printing and distributing hundreds of thousands of Bibles. The Bush administration has expressed concern about Cai, who was arrested with several other Christian figures in September 2004.

Gao has also drawn official ire for backing an impeachment case against a village chief and to prosecute a suit regarding the illegal seizure of $1 billion in oil wells from private investors.

Human rights in china is not a religious issue -- it is a moral and humanitarian issue. I'd like to encourage bloggers of all political stripes to become involved in speaking out on behalf of the oppressed Chinese people . And I would also like to encourage teh Bush administration to impose all possible sanctions upon the Communist tyrrants of Beijing, so that one day Red China might be Free China.





|| Greg, 09:01 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 05, 2005

HMO Nightmare

Here is a case of an HMO simply abusing the process to the complete disregard of the health of the patient.

Little Jack Zembsch suffers from a very rare form of dwarfism that will likely kill him without treatment available only one place in the country.

But the doctor isn't in network.

So the family HMO, Health Net, has taken a series of steps that amount to a directive to let Jack die.

"You just keep thinking that you are going to wake up and it is all resolved,'' he says. "It is so clearly the right path for Jack. I keep thinking I am going to get the letter from some guy saying, 'Sorry, he fell through the cracks. We will get this done.' ''

That isn't going to happen. It didn't happen when the Zembschs' primary-care physician, Dr. Jane Hunter at Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley, wrote a note to Health Net saying "it is imperative'' that Jack see Mackenzie.

It didn't happen when Health Net sent Jack to the highly regarded UCSF medical center to be treated by Dr. Mohammad Diab, a surgeon who is in charge of pediatric orthopedics. Diab told the family he essentially had no experience with the surgery Jack needs and wrote to Health Net that Jack should see Mackenzie immediately.

"The door is closing, if not closed,'' Diab wrote.

It doesn't get any plainer than that. Jack needs an operation. He will die without it.

"I thought it was a no-brainer at that point,'' says Arnold Levinson, a San Francisco health care insurance attorney.

Apparently not. In all there were four appeals. Some were filed twice. In every case, Health Net took the entire 30 days allowed by law to respond, then came up with another rejection or roadblock. Finally, on Oct. 12, Health Net ruled that Jack should go back to Diab.

So everyone, including the doctor that Health Net wants treating Jack, are on the same page -- only Dr. Mackenzie has the expertise to treat Jack. But Health Net does not care. Better one child should die for the good of the shareholders. than the bottom line be impacted negatively.

But a lawsuit is coming -- Monday.

As the spouse of a chronically ill patient, I hope that Health Net gets crushed.





|| Greg, 06:52 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Post Knows Beter Than The People Of Texas

Well, doesn't it always, if you consider how rarely the Washington Post agrees with election results coming out of my state.

Now, though, the Post wants to use teh DeLay case to tell us how to select judges.

Most states have some form of an elected judiciary, but the Texas system is particularly bad: All judges are selected through partisan elections. As then-Chief Justice Tom Phillips, a Republican, said in 2003, "Our partisan, high-dollar judicial selection system has diminished public confidence in our courts, damaged our reputation throughout the country and around the world, and discouraged able lawyers from pursuing a judicial career." The dispute over who will hear the DeLay case is a symptom of a larger problem.

Yeah, we can't have the peole picking judges -- it might give everyone the idea that the judicial branch is answerable to the people and not the other way around! Our system allows the people to serve as a check upon an out-of-control judiciary in a way that the people of , for example, Massachusetts cannot. Wrong-headed decisions may stand, but wrong-headed judges do not.

And as far as the quote form our former chief justice is concerned, he is pretty much alone in taking that position. I was at a meeting a couple of years ago at which he tried to push a non-partisan plan for electing judges for endorsement by a Republican group -- and was soundly rejected because it would taken power away from the people.

What the Post doesn't consider in this case is that we had a relatively unique situation -- a partisan prosecutor on a political vendetta against a leader of the opposing party, being heard by a judge who had in the past stated that he could not be impartial against a defendant whose opponents he had supported financially and who had made larger contributions to an organization that had actively opposed the current defendant. The totality of circumstances made it quite clear that the judges impartiality was subject to serious question. The subsequent challenge by the prosecution was merely a tit-for-tat by an unethical prosecutor who even admitted in his motion that he did not really believe the judge to have a conflict of interest.

No, there is nothing wrong with the current judicial system in Texas -- at least nothing that cannot be solved by dismissing all charges against Tom DeLay and disbarring Ronnie Earle and any of his staff involved in the bringing of the current charges.





|| Greg, 06:40 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A New Addition

I'm adding new blog to the blogroll.

The first is written by Katelyn, a wonderful young lady from Sacramento. She is conservative, pro-life, and very Catholic.. She's also been expelled from her Catholic high school because her family is conservative, pro-life, and very Catholic and the school isn't. So go take a look at her blog -- Stand Up And Speak Out (I love that name).

To get the gist of this awful situation, you need to look at the following posts made over the last three weeks.

Abortion Controversy at Loretto Catholic High School
Loretto Teacher Fired: Part 2
Loretto Update
Expulsion from Loretto
Press Release
"Fired Loretto teacher files complaints"

Welcome to the blogroll, Katelyn -- and good luck with your fight.





|| Greg, 12:55 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 04, 2005

Go Navy!

Soldier's Angels has launched Project Valour-IT, seeking to provide Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops in military and VA hospitals. For more information, visit the homepage.

In honor of my father, a retired US Navy officer and my biggest living hero (how many men can say that at 42 years old and really mean it?), I've signed up as a part of the Navy team. The link to donate is on Rhymes With Right's index page.

This is important, folks. Give what you can.





|| Greg, 08:50 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Clearly He Doesn’t Get It

Gary Hart says we are moving towards theocracy.

America risks becoming a theocracy because of the religious right's sway over politics, former U.S. Sen. Gary Hart warned Thursday in a talk in Denver.

At a lunch at the Oxford Hotel sponsored by the Denver Forum, the Democrat touched on his faith journey, took a few jabs at the Bush administration's foreign policy and reassured the audience that it's all right to be a liberal.

Hart, the author of some 15 books, was touting a slim new volume, "God and Caesar in America: An Essay on Religion and Politics."

"The language of politics in the last 10 years has more heavily gravitated toward faith and values," Hart said. "He who controls the definition controls the debate."

To illustrate the shift in religion's role in politics, Hart told of how conservative Protestants worried in the 1960s that President Kennedy, a Roman Catholic, would let the Vatican call the shots. In 2005, the Bush White House sought to reassure evangelicals that Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers was one of them.

Imagine, Hart said, the reaction if the Kennedy White House had sounded out the pope about a high-court nominee.

"Guess who would have gone up in orbit?" he said. "The religious right in America."

Well, there is an itty-bitty difference here. The pope is a foreigner and the head of state of a foreign country. The evangelicals in question are American citizens and voters. Is its hart’s contention that religious voters – at least one who are part of the so-called “religious right” – have no place being involved in the American political system?





|| Greg, 08:39 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Response To Graffiti

I can’t help but sympathize to this response to the lowlifes who destroy property with their “artwork”.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has suggested that those who deface freeways with graffiti should have their thumbs cut off on television.

Goodman, appearing Wednesday on the ``Nevada Newsmakers'' television show, said, ``In the old days in France, they had beheading of people who commit heinous crimes.

``You know, we have a beautiful highway landscaping redevelopment in our downtown. We have desert tortoises and beautiful paintings of flora and fauna. These punks come along and deface it.

``I'm saying maybe you put them on TV and cut off a thumb,'' the mayor added. ``That may be the right thing to do.''


Or maybe something lower would be more persuasive.

And I must say I wouldn’t mind seeing this restored in schools.

Goodman also suggested that whippings or canings should be brought back for children who get into trouble.

``I also believe in a little bit of corporal punishment going back to the days of yore, where examples have to be shown,'' Goodman said.

``I'm dead serious,'' said Goodman, adding, ``Some of these (children) don't learn. You have got to teach them a lesson, and this is coming from a criminal defense lawyer.''

One of my colleagues used to teach in Singapore. She tells me discipline was so much better there…





|| Greg, 08:36 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Prosecute Sony

If a hacker did this, there would be jail time involved. Sony’s installation of malicious and dangerous code on computers without disclosure merits similar treatment.

Earlier this week, computer security researcher Mark Russinovich published an analysis showing that some new Sony CDs install software that not only limits the copying of music on the discs, but also employs programming techniques normally associated with computer viruses to hide from users and prevent them from removing the software.

Russinovich's findings -- posted on the Web site (http://www.sysinternals.com/) that he runs with another researcher -- indicated that the CDs in question use software techniques that behave similarly to "rootkits," software tools that hackers can use to maintain control over a computer system once they have broken in.

He found that traditional methods of uninstalling the program would not work, and that attempts at removing it corrupted the files needed to operate his computer's CD player, rendering it useless.

Sony spokesman John McKay said the technology has been deployed on just 20 titles so far, but that the company may include it on additional titles in the months ahead.

Did you get that – Sony has knowingly installed programs that are hidden and which damage your computer if you try to play some of their CDs. Not only that, they plan to keep installing it, even knowing that attempts to remove the programs will destroy your computer. That arrogance is criminal, and merits prosecution.





|| Greg, 08:35 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

What I Warn My Students About

I tell these kids something like this could happen if they are sagging.

A man suspected of stealing discs from a video store was tripped up by his baggy pants, falling twice before police captured him, authorities said. James Green, 30, of Detroit, took about a half-dozen DVDs on Sunday night, and initially made his getaway on a bicycle, police said.

Officers spotted him in an alley, and he abandoned the bike and ran, but his pants fell to his ankles and he tripped, Ferndale Detective Sgt. Patrick Jones told The Daily Tribune of Royal Oak. "Finally, he kicked off his pants and shoes" and then jumped a fence into the backyard of a house where he was captured, Jones said.

On Monday, Green pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and retail fraud and was ordered jailed for 30 days.

Maybe the old urban legend is correct – perhaps undercover cops did start this trend to make it easy to catch the criminals.





|| Greg, 08:34 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

No Law = Law

When will the congresscritters realize that the First Amendment gives special protection to political speech? Not soon, I guess, as the House of Representatives refused to pass a measure ensuring the political speech on the internet remains as free as the Founders intended political speech to be.

Online political expression should not be exempt from campaign-finance law, the House decided yesterday as lawmakers warned that the Internet has opened up a new loophole for uncontrolled spending on elections.

The House voted 225-182 for H.R 1606, which would have excluded blogs, e-mails and other Internet communications from regulation by the Federal Election Commission. That was 47 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed under a procedure that limited debate time and allowed no amendments.
The vote in effect clears the way for the FEC to move ahead with court-mandated rule-making to govern political speech and campaign spending on the Internet.

Opposition was led by Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass., who with Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., championed the 2002 campaign-finance law that banned unlimited “soft-money� contributions that corporations, unions and individuals were making to political parties.

“This is a major unraveling of the law,� Meehan said. At a time when Washington is again being tainted by scandal, including the CIA leak case, “it opens up new avenues for corruption to enter the political process.�

Actually, Marty, the internet politicking of the last few years has shown how more and freer speech can shed light on matters of public importance, and challenge the corruption that exists within the major parties and MSM.

Those who are more concerned about Constitutional principle than “political corruption� (freely expressed political opinions that threaten the interests of entrenched incumbents) see matters differently.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said the federal government should encourage, rather than fetter, a phenomenon that was bringing more Americans into the political process.

“The newest battlefield in the fight to protect the First Amendment is the Internet,� he said. “The Internet is the new town square, and campaign-finance regulations are not appropriate there.�

Without his legislation, Hensarling said, “I fear that bloggers one day could be fined for improperly linking to a campaign Web site, or merely forwarding a candidate’s press release to an e-mail list.�

Bloggers from liberal and conservative perspectives made similar predictions at a hearing on the subject in September. “Rather than deal with the red tape of regulation and the risk of legal problems, they will fall silent on all issues of politics,� said Michael J. Krempasky, director of the Web site RedState.org.

Some clearly will fall silent. Others, including this site, will continue to write and publish what we believe until we are silenced by the FEC’s jackbooted thugs. They will be prying this keyboard from my cold, dead fingers.



» The People's Republic of Seabrook links with: Jeez, you'd think the FEC would have bigger fish to fry....



|| Greg, 08:33 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (1) ||

A Time To Wait

I understand the desire of historians and others to see this article about the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Heck, I want to read it – but I have no problem waiting a few more weeks until all the related documents are declassified and free for public inspection.

National Security Agency officers mistranslated interceptions involving the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, and their mistake was covered up by deliberate falsifications, says a researcher trying to obtain an article that lays out what happened.

Now, says researcher Matthew Aid, the NSA is blocking release of the article, by an NSA historian, about the incident that led to a massive U.S. buildup in Vietnam by President Lyndon B. Johnson with the near-unanimous backing of Congress.

Aid, who requested the article last year under the Freedom of Information Act, said it appeared that NSA officers made honest mistakes in translating the intercepted messages about what was reported as a North Vietnamese attack on American destroyers in the gulf off the coast of what was then North Vietnam.

Rather than correct the mistakes, the 2001 article in the NSA's classified Cryptologic Quarterly says, midlevel officials decided to falsify documents to cover up the errors, according to Aid, who is working on a history of the agency and has talked to a number of current and former government officials about this chapter of American history.

Aid said he had been told that the article, written by NSA historian Robert Hanyok, analyzes problems found in interceptions about the events. He said the nature and extent of the mistakes remained unclear, and that some senior officials at NSA who were not involved with the errors had taken issue with the journal article.

Let’s look at this objectively. It takes time to declassify documents – especially if they hint at our capabilities and methods for intercepting information today. Let the process work -- especially given the planned release date of the declassified documents.

In a written statement, NSA spokesman Don Weber said the agency had delayed releasing the article "in an effort to be consistent with our preferred practice of providing the public a more contextual perspective." The agency plans to release the article and related materials next month, he said. "Instead of simply releasing the author's historical account, the agency worked to declassify the associated signals intelligence ... and other classified documents used to draw his conclusions," Weber said.

In other words, Aid will get the documents sometime around Christmas. There is no critical need to release the documents to the public today, given that we are dealing with incidents that are decades old.

Except, of course, that Aid seems o have a political agenda in his demand for immediate release of the article absent the supporting evidence.

Aid drew comparisons to more recent intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction that overstated the threat posed by President Saddam Hussein's arsenal.

"The question becomes, why not release this?" Aid said of the article. "We have some documents that, from my perspective, I think would be very instructive to the public and the intelligence community ... on a mistake made 41 years ago that was just as bad as the WMD debacle."

In other words, he wants to analogize the conflicts in Vietnam and Iraq. He is not particularly interested in the accuracy of the Hanyok article or the analogy. He simply wants a club with which to beat the administration on a matter with which he disagrees.

Here’s hoping the agency sticks to its guns so that everything comes out at once, allowing a full review of Hanyok’s conclusions.





|| Greg, 08:32 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Vote And Be Investigated

Did Diddy run afoul of federal election law with his “Vote or Die” campaign last year?

A formal complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission Thursday claims Sean "Diddy" Combs violated federal law during the U.S. presidential campaign.

The National Legal and Policy Center, NPLC, claims Diddy violated the Federal Election Campaign Act and the Internal Revenue Service Code, when he rallied support of Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry, AllHipHop.com reported.

The NLPC alleges a Detroit rally conducted by Diddy's non-profit group, Citizen Change, included speeches from actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick urging the crowd to oust President Bush from office.

The complaint asks the FEC to investigate whether Diddy used his company's corporate funds to illegally support Citizen Change.

The complaint also alleges Diddy may have used his "Vote or Die" campaign as a commercial endeavor to make money for his clothing line.

Combs was not available for comment.

Non-partisan activities are supposed to remain non-partisan. Non-profit groups are not supposed to be about making a profit. As a result, I have to say these questions are worth asking – though I have to admire the man for his efforts o get people out to vote.





|| Greg, 08:30 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 03, 2005

No Hearings Until January?

Unbelievable! Why give the Democrats an extra month to manufacture dirt?

The Republican-controlled Senate will begin hearings Jan. 9 on Judge Samuel Alito's appointment to the Supreme Court, spurning President Bush's call for a final confirmation vote by year's end.

"It's simply wasn't possible to accommodate the schedule that the White House wanted," said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He outlined a schedule that envisions five days of hearings, followed by a vote in committee on Jan. 17 and the full Senate on Jan. 20.

I guess we just can't have Congresscritters working during the holidays like normal folks.





|| Greg, 07:56 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Parental No-Rights

The Ninth Circuit was willing to let a single non-custodial parent determine whether or not every child could say – or even hear -- the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. But they don’t believe that parents have the right to control the exposure of their own children to sexual material at school.

On Wednesday the court dismissed a lawsuit brought by California parents who were outraged over a sex survey given to public school students in the first, third and fifth grades.

Among other things, the survey administered by the Palmdale School District asked children if they ever thought about having sex or touching other people's "private parts" and whether they could "stop thinking about having sex."

The parents argued that they -- not the public schools -- have the sole right "to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex."

But o n Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit dismissed the case, saying, "There is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children...Parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students."

Judge Stephen Reinhardt, writing for the panel, said "no such specific right can be found in the deep roots of the nation's history and tradition or implied in the concept of ordered liberty."

Funny, I always believed that the right to raise one’s child and to control their education was one of those things that fundamentally predates civilization as a whole, and which society may therefore not infringe upon.

I guess that the State really is their mother and their father – at least in the Ninth Circuit, and as long as the state doesn’t use permit the use of the “G-word” around them.





|| Greg, 07:44 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (7) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

November 02, 2005

Racism In Media

When is a black man not a black man? When he dares to think for himself, using his brain and not his skin.

Another minus is that the nomination lessens the court's diversity. O'Connor herself had expressed the desire that her successor be a woman. O'Connor seems to have grown wiser about diversity as a result of her Supreme Court experience. She came to see the virtues of having a court that looks like America - doubtless a big reason she softened her opposition to affirmative action in recent years.

In losing a woman, the court with Alito would feature seven white men, one white woman and a black man, who deserves an asterisk because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream black America.

But then again, when haven’t the elites of the Left seen an independent, successful black man stepping into their world as an equal -- or a superior -- to be a threat?

And then there is this bit on Dr. Condoleezza Rice – note how her intellect and accomplishments are seen as diminishing and negating her blackness.

The dominant personality in the Bush Cabinet is the ultimate meritocrat, Condoleezza Rice, a black woman from Alabama who rose to the top of American life in an A student's bubble that kept her from the harsher realities of race.

Raised in the Democrat-segregated South, deprived of a friend by the bomb of a Klansman, and often one of a handful of blacks in the many fields in which she has excelled, Rice’s striving and succeeding are viewed by liberals as a sign of her disconnectedness from the great mass of American blacks. After all, in their book the only real Negro is a downtrodden Negro. Excellence is just “acting white”.

Well, there you have it. Not only do they all look alike to the lamestream media, but they all think alike, too.





|| Greg, 10:32 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Black Dems Call Racial Abuse of Blacks Acceptable – If They Are Republicans

Well, racism is this year’s black in politics – as long as it is directed at uppity black men and women who think for themselves and don’t subscribe to the identity politics of the Democrat Party.

Black Democratic leaders in Maryland say that racially tinged attacks against Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele in his bid for the U.S. Senate are fair because he is a conservative Republican.

Such attacks against the first black man to win a statewide election in Maryland include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an "Uncle Tom" and depicting him as a black-faced minstrel on a liberal Web log.

Operatives for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) also obtained a copy of his credit report -- the only Republican candidate so targeted.

But black Democrats say there is nothing wrong with "pointing out the obvious."

"There is a difference between pointing out the obvious and calling someone names," said a campaign spokesman for Kweisi Mfume, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Mfume, a long-time Uncle Tom for the Party of Slavery and Segregation is thereby arguing that such racial slurs disguised as political commentary are appropriate if the speaker believes them to be the truth.

Similarly, at least one Democrat Aunt Jemima from the Maryland House of Delegates resorted to slave imagery to describe the politics of Lt. Gov Steele.

Delegate Salima Siler Marriott, a black Baltimore Democrat, said Mr. Steele invites comparisons to a slave who loves his cruel master or a cookie that is black on the outside and white inside because his conservative political philosophy is, in her view, anti-black.

"Because he is a conservative, he is different than most public blacks, and he is different than most people in our community," she said. "His politics are not in the best interest of the masses of black people."

Gee, Salima, which is less in the best interests of blacks – conservative politics or the notion that thinking and believing differently from the majority is harmful to blacks? Is following the crowd a black virtue, or will it take independent thought and independent action to help the black community advance. In short, do you endorse the freedom to think, speak, and believe as one sees fit, or do you demand the slavery of conformity?

And there is, of course, the racial abuse of Lt. Gov. Steele by Steppin’ Fetchit Gilliard.

But then again, why should we be surprised that the prominent blacks in the Democrat Party are trotted out to sling the slurs for their liberal overseers? They serve the role of slave catchers, punishing those who seek to escape the liberal plantation to discourage others from thinking about freedom.

Oh, and by the way – if you take offense at this satirical piece which makes use of these repulsive racist terms as a means of pointing out the hypocrisy of the Left, please give me one logical, principled reason why their use by the groveling Democratic House Negroes is acceptable but mine is not?

UPDATE -- Well, Mfume seems to be trying to parse his statements in such a way as to condemn that which he yesterday approved -- but other top Dems in Maryland think racial slurs are fine and dandy.





|| Greg, 10:24 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Which Is The Party Of Election Fraud?

I think it should be clear after reading this article.

As Detroit lays off hundreds of civil servants, city Clerk Jackie L. Currie has used t